Only four days have taken to get the Falcon 9 out of SpaceX again. After the success of the historic mission of the company of Elon Musk and NASA, with the objective of taking two astronauts to the International Space Station in the Crew Dragon. Now, the rocket has gotten back to work in this case with as many Starlink satellites. And, again, it has been retrieved on the landing pad.
60 new units for the connection network Elon Musk who are already counting 480 satellites circling Earth in its low Earth orbit. Its objective? The same as in previous company launches: create a network dense enough to provide internet connectivity and bandwidth. Mainly to regions where network deployments are not as advanced.
In any case, these 480 satellites are just the beginning of one of the businessman’s most ambitious projects. At the moment, the company has the approval to launch 12,000 units; but the idea is to reach about 42,000.
At the moment, the objective is to reach the minimum number of satellites in order to activate the network service. This supposes to put the orbit about 700 apparatuses; a figure that will be reached in two months’ time. At which point Elon Musk wants to press the power button.
Starlink and the persistent visibility problem
With this project, Elon Musk has angered – and very much – the astronomers sector. Before the first Starlink takeoffs, the group warned of the problem that these devices would generate for the study of the sky.
Orbiting at a relatively low altitude and made of reflective material, Starlink satellites cause heavy interference. Since then, SpaceX has been searching for the solution to stop these from being a problem for scientists.
‘Sun visors’, the solution to Elon Musk’s satellite problem
First, a material that reflected less sunlight. Despite lowering their brightness, they were still a problem. Then came the promise of orbiting at a higher altitude, but the installation of sun visors has been the company’s latest occurrence.
This invention, which will be deployed at specific times, is supposed to prevent Starlink antennas from reflecting the Sun when it collides with its surface. The 60 new units launched this morning that solar accessory is already included.
If it works, and Starlink is no longer visible to the naked eye in the night sky, SpaceX will install this design in future releases.