November 12, 2019 • Evelyn J. Arevalo
[Source: Twitter User name: @C6H5NH2 ]
Have you seen a strange fleet of lights flying in the night sky? Some thought the lights were a fleet of UFO's flying in a line formation. Well, it's not Aliens nor otherworldly spacecraft!
The train of bright lights are SpaceX's newly launched satellites. The company aims to beam internet to consumers from space, anywhere on Earth. By providing internet service they plan to use Starlink's revenue to fund SpaceX missions, like building their massive Starship rocket, constructing a base on the Moon and a sustainable colony on Mars. So humanity can ultimately become a space-faring civilization!
Yesterday, November 11, 2019 SpaceX successfully launched their second batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites on board a Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. [Read: SpaceX Successful Falcon 9 Starlink Launch. CLICK HERE.]
The newly launched Starlink satellites are part of a broadband high-speed internet constellation. So far, SpaceX has around 120 internet broadband satellites in low Earth orbit. The goal is to create an interconnected network of as many as 12,000 satellites. Starlink will provide reliable, affordable internet all over the world. Which will benefit places where there is no internet connectivity, and where existing services are not reliable or too expensive.
"We deployed 60 more Starlink satellites. This puts us one step closer to being able to offer Starlink internet service to customers across the globe, including people in rural and hard to reach places who have struggled to access high speed internet."
-Lauren Lyons, SpaceX Engineer
Currently, the Starlink satellites are low enough to be seen with the naked eye, for a few days, until they deploy into a higher orbit. Each of the 60 satellites is equipped with an ion thruster engine to slowly raise into orbit. This batch of satellites will be deployed into an approximate 217km to 280 kilometer low Earth orbit. Each individual satellite is about the size of an office desk with a launch mass of 227 kilograms (500.5 pounds). The design is a flat panel with a single solar array that unfolds. [Read: SpaceX Starlink Internet Satellite Mission and Tech Details. CLICK HERE]
Last night after their launch, these 60 Starlink satellites appeared as a brilliant train of 'stars' in the night sky.
Several people saw the Starlink satellite train last night:
STARLINK衛星のトレイン。もうちょっと高感度のカメラで望遠でとらえたものです。銀河鉄道のイメージから遠ざかってしまいますが、衛星の数が数えられそうですね。60機のうち何機映っているでしょうか？ pic.twitter.com/kjbnDtMrJJ— 三島和久・ｱﾆﾘﾝ・レモンパスタ部 (@C6H5NH2) November 12, 2019
If weather conditions are favorable, you may be able to watch them at night for the next couple of days.
You can track the position of the Starlink satellites through these websites:
Congratulations to SpaceX's successful Starlink launch!