SpaceX Successfully Deploys More Starlink Satellites

SpaceX has successfully launched and deployed another batch of 60 Starlink satellites.

SpaceX is a couple of launches from a minimum operational constellation of Starlink satellites. There are 300 version 1.0 satellite and 420 would be minimum network. There are about 40-50 version 0.9 satellites. It is not clear whether any 0.9 satellites can be part of the minimum network.

SpaceX is targeting service in the Northern U.S. and Canada in 2020 and rapidly expanding to near-global coverage of the populated world by late 2021 or 2022.

Written By Brian Wang,

7 thoughts on “SpaceX Successfully Deploys More Starlink Satellites”

  1. “Some 30 to 50 percent of exposures from the United States’ National Science Foundation’s Vera C. Rubin Observatory, currently under construction in Chile, will be severely affected. When it comes online, the observatory is supposed to help spot supernovae and potentially dangerous asteroids — but Starlink could (literally) stand in its way.
    The new research backs up a February 2020 statement from the International Astronomical Union, which warned wide-field astronomical observations would be “severely affected” by the satellites.
    The Union has had its eyes on the satellites since June 2019, modeling the frequency, location, and brightness of a sample of 25,000 satellites.
    “Apart from their naked-eye visibility, it is estimated that the trails of the constellation satellites will be bright enough to saturate modern detectors on large telescopes,” the agency said.
    “Wide-field scientific astronomical observations will therefore be severely affected.”
    The satellite constellation is particularly “worrisome,” the agency said, because they may also interfere with ground-based astronomy, radio, optical, and infrared observations.”

  2. He is testing the limits.

    And the limits are already expanded well beyond what NASA was able to do.

    You can model and simulate until you’re blue in the face – but in the end, you’ve got to make what you’ve modeled and see what goes bust. Then you fix it, and try again pushing the limits of what you’ve done.

    5 launches from the same booster is 4 more than ANY launcher NASA ever made.

  3. It hasn’t been confirmed yet if the high power error engine from the aborted launch is the same as the one that failed near MECO. It also isn’t clear if the failed one is the same as the one used in the reentry burns (this one was supposed to be a 3 engine burn return). Apparently 3 engines are hard and fast such that they use less fuel than just one running longer, so losing anengine for that means it likely wouldn’t make it to the drone ship (though it will do it’s best to try).

    It could be a case of error engine, then a boost engine, then a third reentry engine. SpaceX likes to say they have a measure of armoring to all neighbor engines to survive engine failures (so debris impacts from a bad engine don’t damage neighbor engines), but odds are if one of three reentry engines was not the one that failed during boost, then it got hit by debris from the failure. SpaceX only equips the three reentry burn engines with restart TEA/TEB cartridges for restart, so it isn’t like the flight computer can select a different surviving engine for reentry burns. Though the way Musk is talking, it seems like the boost failed engine was one of the three reentry burn engines, though he isn’t making a link between the abort issue and the failed engine.

  4. They really are testing the limits of rocketry.

    This is why I believe Musk’s reusability targets for Starship and Superheavy are only aspirational.

    Rockets engines are subjected to greater stresses and temperatures than airplanes, even if it is for shorter amounts of time, and aren’t as well behaved as aircraft.

  5. They apparently lost an engine just before stage separation. The computers then kept the remaining 8 engines running for a few more seconds to compensate. That adjustment combined with any fuel lost during the engine failure may have used up too much fuel for a recovery.

    I think SpaceX should take there older booster out of service for an extended overhaul. Something in the engines is probably wearing out faster than ground tests have indicated. And they will have to make more boosters to compensate for the recent loss of the two boosters.

  6. They weren’t able to recover the booster this morning. Well – 5 launches with the same booster is 4 more than NASA was ever able to manage…

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