Starlink Illustration Created By: Erc X @ErcXspace via Twitter.
SpaceX is scheduled to deploy the sixteenth fleet of internet-beaming Starlink satellites from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station this weekend. A six-times-flown Falcon 9 rocket is vertical on Launch Pad 40 ready to deploy 60 Starlink satellites into Low Earth Orbit. "Static fire test complete – targeting Falcon 9 launch of Starlink from SLC-40 [Space Launch Complex-40] in Florida on Sunday, November 22" at 9:56 p.m. EST, SpaceX announced. A static-fire test is a routine pre-flight preparation to ensure the rocket's nine Merlin 1D engines work well before taking flight.
"Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported six missions; this launch will make it the fleet leader," the company said. SpaceX engineers aim to reuse a particular Falcon 9's first-stage booster at least 10 times. Sunday's mission takes the company closer to the reusability goal, it will be the booster's (production number B1049.7) seventh flight. Falcon 9's first-stage will attempt to land again on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship that will be located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 633 kilometers downrange. You can watch SpaceX's next Starlink mission via SpaceX.com/launches (the video will be linked below as soon as its available).
Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported six missions; this launch will make it the fleet leader— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 21, 2020
The sixteenth Starlink launch will increase the fleet of operational Starlink satellites in orbit to nearly 900. Upon deployment, each satellite will use its onboard Krypton-powered ion thrusters to raise itself to an operational altitude of around 550-kilometers above Earth. The network will be comprised of over 4,400 satellites in orbit that will beam internet connection to phased-array antenna dish terminals globally.
The company already rolled out Starlink broadband service in northern portions of the United States and southern Canada. Ultimately, SpaceX aims to connect areas worldwide where traditional internet connection is unreliable ans unavailable. The Starlink Kit, which includes a Starlink dish and Wi-Fi router device, costs $499 USD, and the service is priced at $99 USD per month. SpaceX says "the Starlink phased-array user terminal... is more advanced than what's in fighter jets." It features technology that enables it to search for an optimal view of the sky and is capable of reorienting itself. Former Canadian Astronaut is a SpaceX Starlink Beta Tester he shared he is "way happy with the internet speed". Read more in the TESMANIAN article below.
Former Canadian Astronaut is a SpaceX Starlink Internet Beta Testerhttps://t.co/z8EutIbJUT— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) November 19, 2020
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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.