SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, April 28, to launch the twenty-fifth fleet of 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. A previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket will liftoff at 11:44 p.m. EDT. The Falcon 9 first-stage rocket booster that will conduct this mission is identified as B1060-7, it previously launched the U.S. Space Force’s GPS III Space Vehicle 03 satellite, the Turksat 5A satellite for Turkey, and four Starlink missions. The upcoming Starlink mission will be B1060-7 seventh launch. SpaceX will attempt to recover the booster again to reuse it. Soon after deploying the 60 batch of internet-beaming Starlink satellites the booster will return from space to land on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ autonomous droneship, which will be located approximately 630-kilometers the Atlantic Ocean.
Targeting Wednesday, April 28 at 11:44 p.m. EDT for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from SLC-40 in Florida → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 27, 2021
This Starlink launch will increase the constellation’s size to approximately 1,500 satellites in orbit out of 4,408 that will initially comprise the network. Each Starlink satellite has a compact design, relatively small compared to other satellites in orbit. The satellites design is a flat-panel that allows SpaceX to stack them in a tight configuration atop Falcon 9’s 5.2-meter wide payload fairing. The satellites feature advanced technology, including four phased-array antennas that enable high bandwidth and low-latency communication, and two parabolic antennas. The satellites are also equipped with a ‘star tracker,’ which provides the constellation data about their altitude and location to ensure precision in broadband connection. The Starlink satellites also feature an autonomous collision avoidance system that utilizes the U.S. Department Of Defense’s debris tracking database to avoid collisions with other spacecraft and space debris as the satellites move through their operational altitudes.
SpaceX is already providing broadband service to customers in regions located in the United States and abroad, including in Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom. As the company launched more satellites to orbit, Starlink will be capable of providing service to more regions across the world. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said SpaceX will achieve “full connectivity globally” after about twenty-eight Starlink launches. With the twenty-fifth satellite deployment taking place this week, the company would reach near-global coverages with three more launches. You can watch the upcoming mission in the video below, courtesy of SpaceX.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.