Animation of 42,000 Starlink Satellites

SpaceX is developing a low latency, broadband internet system to meet the needs of consumers across the globe. They have a Starlink.com website. Enabled by a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites, Starlink will provide fast, reliable internet to populations with little or no connectivity, including those in rural communities and places where existing services are too expensive or unreliable.

Marcus House has image with 42000 and 12000 satellites around the world and a video describing the latest information.

Starlink is targeted to offer service in the Northern U.S. and Canadian latitudes after six launches, rapidly expanding to global coverage of the populated world after an expected 24 launches. SpaceX is targeting two to six Starlink launches by the end of this year.

Each Starlink satellite weighs 227 kilograms and have krypton ion engines.

SpaceX has deployed 62 Starlink satellites. They plan to deploy 60 more per launch, at a rate of one launch every two weeks beginning in November 2019. In total, nearly 12,000 satellites will be deployed by the mid-2020s and an extension to 42,000. The initial 12,000 satellites are planned to orbit in three orbital shells: first placing approximately 1,600 in a 550-kilometer (340 mi)-altitude shell, then approximately 2,800 Ku- and Ka-band spectrum satellites at 1,150 km (710 mi) and approximately 7,500 V-band satellites at 340 km (210 mi).

Keeping Space Clean

Starlink is on the leading edge of on-orbit debris mitigation, meeting or exceeding all regulatory and industry standards.

At end of life, the satellites will utilize their on-board propulsion system to deorbit over the course of a few months. In the unlikely event the propulsion system becomes inoperable, the satellites will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within 1-5 years, significantly less than the hundreds or thousands of years required at higher altitudes.

Here are images and information on the collision avoidance systems, ion drives, flat stacking for launch and solar panels.

SOURCES- SpaceX, Marcus House
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

17 thoughts on “Animation of 42,000 Starlink Satellites”

  1. if you think that’s crazy, think about the next arms race, if a single company can afford to put up 40,000 satellites, the military could afford to put up thousands to tens of thousands of anti missile, anti satellite weapons and more, even with all the graft of the military industrial complex.

    however with affordable space travel and control of the orbitals you could:

    End the threat of instant global destruction by ICBM’s.

    Deploy weapons (both traditional and kinetic) as well as military force anywhere in the world in in less than 45 minutes, with no need for forward bases in less than friendly nations.

    instantly cut off a hostile nations ability to use satellite GPS, Spy/observation tools, telecommunication satellites etc.

    an Important note, the orbitals are on a first come first served basis, as the cost of reaching them is very costly (especially if you are assaulting an orbiting force from the ground) so whoever gets there first is the king of the hill, the worlds first hyper power.

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  2. Wow, that video sucked for visualization, since it isn’t properly showing the layering of the orbital shells at all. While the plan keeps changing, I think it’s still 3 different altitude shells…

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  3. The choices are ground terminals with location determination onboard (GPS, or using Starlink ephemeris catalog), which on detecting being in china, will force VPN route access through a chinese ground gateway for inspection/filtering, or flat lockout when the terminal is in china.

    Musk will do this because he can’t afford to have Tesla’s shanghai gigafactory stopped or have Telsa cars disadvantaged in the chinese market.

    He’ll probably have to do the same for russia as well, and any other country with authoritarian leanings or an excessive radio spectrum regulatory environment.

    The gray area is countries with a CALEA style lawful access scheme for voice communication connecting to the PSTN telephone network. Starlink is a pure data system working with the public internet, so legally there is no PSTN wiretap responsibility there. That may change in the future though. Starlink is an orbital mesh network, so having to funnel all traffic to ground “teleport” gateways puts undue stress on the system (well, beyond the stress of users usually wanting to access local content that is usually sourced from domestic cloud services, so there is some location correlation already, plus the added complication of edge CDN’s).

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  4. All those satellites will be flying over China allowing anyone with a basestation secure communications. Any thing the CCP can’t read or hear is a threat.

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  5. A more interesting question is what will this mean for the great firewall of china? Will starlink capitulate to the firewall and restrictions china will want, or will anyone be able to purchase a starlink receiver and get unfiltered access to the internet?

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  6. How is this a strategic asset? The military has always (or close to) had their own satelite communications network, so what is different now? It’s not like you could use the starlink as a weapon, right?

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  7. Musk seems to have a great relationship with China – at least as far as Tesla goes. I doubt they will want to shoot down his satellites – although it should be possible to disable all 42,000 with a high powered laser. But if he brokered a contract to build a Starship factory in China….wouldn’t THAT be interesting?

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  8. What does the CCP think of this system? It has to be freaking them out. They have no way to stop it or counter it. Will China try to shoot down 42,000 satellites in case of war? What other satellite constellations will be going up now that SpaceX has lowered the cost of getting to space?

    I foresee a time when countries will no longer be able to do ANYTHING above ground that isn’t viewed in real time and recorded. Time to invest in digging tools. Who else is doing that? Oh, right, Musk.

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