Starlink

Science • Space
SpaceX launched on Tuesday 58 Starlink satellites and 3 SkySats
SpaceX launched on Tuesday 58 Starlink satellites and 3 SkySats
Credit: SpaceX (Reproduction)

The SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on Tuesday delivered 61 satellites: 3 SkySats and 58 for the Starlink constellation. The first stage booster successfully landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship.

Today's mission was the sixth time SpaceX used this particular Falcon 9 rocket, a new record for the company. SpaceX also reported they caught one half of the nosecone fairing.

Science • Space
Amazon gets approval to launch 3,236 satellites into orbit for internet services
Amazon gets approval to launch 3,236 satellites into orbit for internet services
Credit: unsplash.com / NASA

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a request from Amazon to launch 3,236 communication sattelites into low earth orbit.

The company plans to provide a low-latency, high-speed satellite-based internet connections to United States households with it's Project Kuiper. Amazon has announced that it will invest over $10 billtion into the project and will build a supporting infrastructure on the ground in addition to launching the satellites.

With Project Kuiper Amazon goes into direct competition to the Starlink network by SpaceX that aims towards the same goals.

Science • Space
SpaceX to launch third Starlink mission in a month
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Credit: 2nd Lt. Alex Preisser/USAF (Public Domain)

SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Starlink 9 mission this Thursday. The launch is planned for 20:39(UTC) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This will be the third Starlink launch in June alone, bringing the size of the growing constellation to around 600 satellites and closer to the threshold of 800 required for some limited broadband service to begin.

Science • Space
SpaceX has until July 15 to prove Starlink could qualify for $16 billion federal funding
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Credit: 2nd Lt. Alex Preisser/USAF (Public Domain)

SpaceX's Starlink network of low-Earth orbit small satellites plans to compete for the rural broadband funding, a $16 billion federal funding auction. To qualify for the auction the FCC requires that participants demonstrate latency under 100 milliseconds until July 15.

On a public notice released on June 11, the FCC stated it had "serious doubts that any low-Earth orbit networks will be able to meet the short-form application requirements for bidding in the low-latency tier".

SpaceX's announces it could have latencies around 20 milliseconds.

Science • Space
SpaceX launched more 58 Starlink satellites, and three Planet SkySats hitched a ride
Deployment of SkySats during June 13 launch
Deployment of SkySats during June 13 launch Credit: SpaceX (Reproduction)

Earlier today SpaceX successfully launched its first rideshare mission into orbit, lofting a new batch of 58 Starlink internet satellites along with three Planet SkySats before landing the Falcon 9 rocket on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Planet satellites are part of that company’s existing SkySat constellation, which includes just over a dozen washing machine-sized craft that generate high-resolution images of our home planet.

The launch was the second Starlink mission so far this month, with one more on the schedule for no earlier than June 22.

Science • Space
SpaceX sets record with its reusable Falcon 9 rocket

10 years ago, SpaceX launched its self-landing rocket Falcon 9 for the first time. After its few initial fails, the company made history by landing the rocket, offering the world some spectacular images to be remembered by generations to come.

This Thursday, the 4th of June, SpaceX reached two new milestones using its reusable rocket system. By launching its Falcon 9 rocket and deploying a new batch of 60 Starlink satelites, the company reached the incredible milestone of 5 flights and landings of the same orbital-class rocket. As this was Falcon 9's 85th launch, it has now become the most flown operational rocket in the United States.

Moreover, the company is estimated to have saved roughly $232.5 million from this one Falcon 9 rocket alone, as the re-usability of the launch vehicle saves around $46.5 million for each successfully landed flight.

Science • Space
SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites
SpaceX Logo
SpaceX Logo Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

SpaceX has launched on Wednesday another 60 internet-beaming satellites, bringing the company's constellation to around 480.

One of the 60 Starlink satellites has a visor system installed to block the sun from reflecting off of its communication antenna surfaces. If the system works, it should greatly reduce sunlight reflected off of the satellite back to Earth, one of the major criticisms from astronomers.

Also, this was the fifth launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, achieving a new record in booster reusability for the company.