SpaceX prepares to FINALLY launch its next batch of 60 Starlink Internet satellites after delays
SpaceX is finally ready to launch its next batch of 60 Starlink satellites in orbit, after two days of frustrating delays.
The satellite group was first established to take off Monday from Cape Canaveral, but SpaceX postponed takeoff due to “high level winds.”
Then a rescheduled launch was revealed for 24 hours later, with 9:28 a.m. EST (2:28 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday, the appointed time.
But SpaceX was canceled again, this time due to “bad weather in the recovery area.”
Today’s launch of the 229-foot Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 14:06 GMT (9: 06ET) and the weather is 80 percent favorable, says SpaceX.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, hopes to eventually send thousands of satellites into space to broadcast the Internet to all Earth’s inhabitants.
This launch will bring the current total of Starlink satellites in orbit to 180.
Astronomers have condemned the project since the first launch in May 2019 for fear that it will erase the night sky and hinder scientific research.
If this release is abandoned at the last minute, there is a third backup opportunity available on Thursday, January 30 at 8:45 a.m. ET (13:45 UTC).
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Today’s takeoff is scheduled for 2:06 p.m. GMT (9: 06ET) and the weather is 80 percent favorable, says SpaceX
Many star watchers and scientists reported seeing a satellite train in recent months in what would have been a clear night sky.
The University of Alabama astronomer, Bill Keel, told AFP that the sighting of the first Starlink satellite train made experts try to extrapolate what effect artificial constellations of such constant brightness could have as they grow in number.
Fears developed, he said, that “in 20 years or less, for much of the night anywhere in the world, the human eye would see more satellites than stars.”
However, SpaceX believes that this project will do more good than bad, since ‘Starlink will provide fast and reliable Internet to places where access has not been reliable, expensive or unavailable,’ the company writes in its mission description.
Satellites are designed to provide broadband coverage on the surface of the world.
Today’s launch will be the third operational batch of satellites in orbit around the Earth, which will raise Starlink’s budding infrastructure to a total of 180.
Each spacecraft weighs only 575 pounds (260 kg) and will be part of the largest constellation Starlink.
The satellites will eventually orbit 341 miles above Earth and the main rocket will land on the drone “Of course I still love you” in the Atlantic Ocean.
Approximately 45 minutes after takeoff, the two SpaceX fairing recovery vessels, ‘Ms. Tree ‘and’ Ms. Chief, will try to recover the two nose pieces.
Today’s successful takeoff at 14:06 GMT (9: 06ET), despite previous weather problems, shot without problems and brings the total number of the Starlink constellation to 120
SpaceX announced on Twitter that it was forced to ‘withdraw’ after high level winds on Monday. He also confirmed that it will be launched tomorrow at 9:28 a.m. EST (14:28 GMT)
SpaceX has been forced to delay the launch of another 60 Starlink satellites in orbit. The satellite group will launch at 9:49 ET (14:49 GMT) from Cape Canaveral
The “high level winds” were cited as the reason for the cancellation and is now scheduled for tomorrow’s launch at 9:28 a.m. EST (2:28 p.m. GMT)
Dozens of satellites have already been launched and Musk received authorization from the relevant authorities to send thousands more into orbit.
The previous launch on January 6 presented a satellite covered with a dark layer designed to appease disgruntled astronomers.
Anti-reflective test material is expected to be the first step in a compromise to allow Starlink to prosper without interfering with the views of space from Earth.
Last month, astronomers called the plans for the global high-speed Internet a “tragedy” and said they were getting in the way of key scientific observations.
“The night sky is a common good, and what we have here is a tragedy of the commons,” Imperial College London astrophysicist Dave Clements told the BBC.
The constellations proposed, he added, ‘present a close-up between what we are observing from Earth and the rest of the Universe.
‘Then they get in the way of everything. And you’ll miss everything behind them, whether it’s a potentially dangerous asteroid nearby or the most distant quasar in the Universe. ”
Satellites will be a particular threat to large-scale studies of the sky, such as the Great Synoptic Study Telescope (LSST) planned in Chile.
“What we want to do with LSST and other telescopes is to make a real-time movie of how the sky is changing,” explained Dr. Clements.
“Now we have these satellites that interrupt the observations, and it’s as if someone was walking firing a light bulb every now and then.”
SpaceX is investigating the potential to make satellites less reflective, in an attempt to reduce their interference with astronomers on Earth.
A specific ship at tonight’s launch is equipped with a less reflective surface to reduce glare and is being used as a test case to see how it affects its performance.
Laura Forczyk, a space analyst, said the effectiveness of the measures was still uncertain.
The small setback will not deter SpaceX, as it continues its controversial mission of transmitting the Internet to all through a constellation of interconnected satellites. Sky watchers have repeatedly lamented the bright spacecraft
Researchers fear that the artificial constellation of satellites that provide SpaceX broadband (pictured) may increasingly ruin the views of the night sky and hinder astronomy.
“SpaceX has not yet relieved the minds of astronomers concerned about the reflectivity of their Starlink satellites,” he told AFP.
‘The real test will be the days after launch when the small satellites are close together and at a lower altitude before ascending to their final orbit.
“Astronomers and star watchers will be able to compare the brightness of this current lot of small seats compared to previous versions.”
Another criticism of the heavier skies is that it will lead to costly collisions between satellites, which could create thousands of pieces of new space junk.
SpaceX says it also has a plan for that: its Starlink satellites deploy at an altitude of 290 kilometers (180 miles) and then activate their ionic propellers to reach an orbit of 550 kilometers (340 miles).
At the end of their life cycles, satellites will use their propulsion systems to desorbit within a few months, or if they fail, they will naturally burn in the atmosphere in less than five years, compared to thousands. of years required at higher altitudes
What is Starlink and what are its objectives?
SpaceX by Elon Musk has launched the third batch of its space internet satellites ‘Starlink’, with a total of 180.
They form a constellation of thousands of satellites, designed to provide a low-cost broadband Internet service from low Earth orbit.
The constellation, informally known as Starlink, and in development at the SpaceX facility in Redmond, Washington.
Its objective is to transmit super fast Internet to your home from space.
While satellite Internet has been around for a while, it has suffered high latency and unreliable connections.
Starlink is different. SpaceX says that putting a ‘constellation’ of satellites in low Earth orbit would provide high-speed, cable-type Internet throughout the world.
The billionaire company wants to create the global system to help you generate more cash.
Musk said earlier that the company could give three billion people who currently do not have Internet access a cheap way to connect.
It could also help fund a future city on Mars.
Helping humanity reach the red planet is one of Musk’s stated goals and it was what inspired him to start SpaceX.
Recently, the company presented plans to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 4,425 satellites in orbit on Earth, three times more than those currently in operation.
“Once fully implemented, the SpaceX system will pass virtually all parts of the Earth’s surface and, therefore, in principle, will have the ability to provide a ubiquitous global service,” the firm said.
“Every point on the Earth’s surface will see, at all times, a SpaceX satellite.”
The network will provide internet access to the United States and the rest of the world, he added.
It is expected to take more than five years and an investment of $ 9.8 billion (£ 7.1 billion), although satellite Internet has proven to be an expensive market in the past and analysts expect the final bill to be higher.
Musk compared the project with “rebuilding the Internet in space,” as it would reduce dependence on the existing network of submarine fiber optic cables running across the planet.
In the United States, the FCC welcomed the scheme as a way of providing Internet connections to more people.