SpaceX launches fourth batch of Starlink satellites


Spread the love

SpaceX launches fourth batch of Starlink satellites

On January 29, the Falcon 9 rocket launched another batch of 60 Starlink satellites into a 302-kilometer orbit. This launch of the Falcon 9 was the third in 2020 and the second mission with Starlink satellites. In total, since May 2019, four lots of 60 satellites were launched into space. Also in 2018, the first two demonstration satellites were launched into orbit. Thus, in total, 242 Starlink satellites are in Earth orbit.

The working orbit of Starlink satellites is at an altitude of 550 km. Serviceable satellites will get to it on their own, and non-working satellites will leave 300-kilometer orbit and burn up in the atmosphere for several months. According to astronomers, ten previously launched satellites did not raise their orbit.

SpaceX is constantly refining its satellites. So, in the launch on January 29, the mass of one satellite was about 260 kg. This is 33 kg more than in the first batch launched last May. The press release indicated that the new satellites have four phased array antennas (previously their number was not indicated). Also, new satellites must be completely destroyed in the atmosphere when brought from orbit.

The deployment of the Starlink satellite constellation is displeasing to astronomers who complain about the exposure from a large number of bright objects in orbit. During the previous launch, which took place on January 7, an experimental “dark” satellite called DarkSat was launched into space. It is equipped with a special coating, which should reduce the brightness of the satellite. It will be possible to evaluate the results of the experiment only in the second half of February, when this spacecraft will reach its working orbit.

Earlier, SpaceX President Gwen Shotwell said that in 2020, Starlink satellites will be launched at intervals of 2-3 weeks. So far, this schedule has been maintained: in January, two launches took place. The next launches are expected in mid-February and early March.

@import 'https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Exo+2-00-0000,500,700&subset=cyrillic';
                        .rio2016-card {
                            background-color: rgba (250, 250, 250, 1);
                            border: 1px solid #ccc;

                            width: 660px;
                            margin: auto;
                            padding: 20px;
                            padding-top: 10px;
                            padding-bottom: 10px;
                            margin-top: 30px;
                            margin-bottom: 0px;
                            font-family: 'Exo 2', sans-serif;
                        }
                        .rio2016-card: last-child {
                            margin-bottom: 30px;
                        }
                        .rio2016-card * {
                            font-family: 'Exo 2', sans-serif;
                        }
                        .rio2016-card h2 {
                            text-align: center;
                        }
                        .rio2016-card p {
                            font-size: 18px;
                        }
                        .rio2016-card-position {
                            display: block;
                            font-size: 30px;
                            text-align: center;
                            color: # da0202;
                            font-family: 'Exo 2', sans-serif;
                            margin-bottom: 10px;
                        }
                        .rio2016-card-image {
                            margin-top: 0px;
                            border: 1px solid #ccc;
                            width: 660px! important;
                        }
                        .rio2016-cards iframe {
                            margin: auto;
                            margin-top: 0px;
                            border: 1px solid #ccc;
                        }

                    
  . (tagsToTranslate) Newsland (t) news (t) latest news (t) SpaceX launched the fourth batch of Starlink satellites