A Good SpaceX Starlink Launch Will Mean Minimal Global Operation

SpaceX will try for its eighth launch of Starlink satellites today. Falcon 9 will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A backup opportunity is available on Thursday, June 4 at 9:03 p.m. EDT, 1:03 UTC on June 5.

Update- 2 hours until scheduled launch

SpaceX is launching 60 satellites at a time, aiming to deploy more than 1,500 of the quarter-ton spacecraft to provide near-global service by late 2021 or 2022.

420 satellites are needed for minor broadband coverage of Earth. 780 of the first ~1600 for moderate coverage.

There are two more Starlink launches planned for June.

Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in September 2018, the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019, and two separate Starlink missions in May 2019 and in January 2020. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Approximately 45 minutes after liftoff, SpaceX’s fairing recovery vessels, “Ms. Tree” and “Ms. Chief,” will attempt to recover the two fairing halves.

The Starlink satellites will deploy in an elliptical orbit approximately 15 minutes after liftoff. Prior to orbit raise, SpaceX engineers will conduct data reviews to ensure all Starlink satellites are operating as intended. Once the checkouts are complete, the satellites will then use their onboard ion thrusters to move into their operational altitude of 550 km. On this mission, SpaceX will launch the first Starlink satellite with a deployable visor to block sunlight from hitting the brightest spots of the spacecraft.

SOURCES- SpaceX
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com