SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites of the global Internet system Starlink


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SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites of the global Internet system Starlink

After two defaults, SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket with the first 60 Starlink communication satellites. In the coming years, the company is expected to expand the Starlink orbital constellation to nearly 12,000 low-Earth orbit satellites that will provide high-speed Internet access throughout the world. The launch of the "rel =" nofollow "> took place on the SpaceX YouTube channel.

Starlink is a global satellite Internet system that will cover almost the entire surface of the Earth with a signal. For this, SpaceX is going to launch 11943 satellites into space. They will communicate with terminals on Earth using phased antenna arrays, and they will communicate with each other via laser communications (the first satellites will not support laser communications). The orbital group will be divided into three parts according to the height of the orbits. 7518 satellites will be located in circular orbits with an altitude of 340 kilometers. 1584 satellites will be located in a circular orbit with an altitude of 550 kilometers. In addition, at an altitude of 1150 kilometers will be located another 2841 satellites.

The first 60 satellites will operate at an altitude of 550 kilometers, with the rocket taking them to an altitude of 440 kilometers, and they will get to their target orbits using their own Hall-effect engines operating on krypton. SpaceX notes that with the help of engines satellites will not only get to their orbits, but also automatically adjust the orbit to prevent collisions with space debris. Details about the device of the satellite Internet system SpaceX can be found in our material “For all, for free”.

For a relatively rapid deployment of the satellite constellation, SpaceX engineers had to optimize their design compared to the first two prototypes, which went into orbit in February 2018. The new satellites are a flat design that allows them to be effectively positioned inside the rocket head fairing:

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket with Starlink satellites took place on May 24 at 05:30 Moscow time from the launch site at Cape Canaveral. Initially, the launch was planned for May 17, but was postponed twice due to bad weather. About an hour after launch, the satellites will begin to separate from the second stage of the rocket at an altitude of 440 kilometers. This launch was not only one of the most popular for SpaceX, although the company had previously launched 64 devices at the same time, but also the heaviest. Since the mass of each Starlink satellite is 227 kilograms, their total mass is 13.62 tons, and the total payload mass is 18.5 tons according to Ilona Mask. Probably, the weight indicated by him includes the frame on which the satellites are fixed, as well as the payload adapter.

Earlier, the first launch of a manned spacecraft Crew Dragon was a record for SpaceX, the mass of which together with the fuel was 12 tons. Apparently, the company began to use the new payload adapter, because its earlier version allowed us to display loads of up to 10.8 tons.

In addition to SpaceX, their own satellite Internet systems were announced or started to create several other companies and government agencies. In February, the Soyuz ST-B rocket launched the first six devices of the OneWeb system, which will consist of 650 satellites. Announced, but have not yet begun to deploy similar systems of Amazon and Facebook, as well as Russia and China.

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