A thirteen-times-flown Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched SpaceX’s fleet of 22 Starlink V2 Mini satellites into low-Earth orbit on Wednesday, August 16, at 11:36 p.m. ET. The launch took place from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, marking another milestone in SpaceX's ongoing commitment to expanding its satellite constellation.
The mission, designated Starlink Group 6-10, represents the twelfth fleet deployed in the V2 series, showcasing SpaceX's dedication to enhancing its satellite network. These second-generation (Gen2) Starlink satellites are designed to significantly enhance the capabilities of the Internet network. With advanced technologies such as more powerful phased array antennas and the utilization of E-band for backhaul, these satellites can deliver approximately four times more capacity per satellite compared to earlier iterations. This technological improvement translates to increased bandwidth, improved reliability, and the potential to connect millions more people around the world to high-speed internet. "V2 minis include key technologies—such as more powerful phased array antennas and the use of E-band for backhaul—which will allow Starlink to provide ~4x more capacity per satellite than earlier iterations," shared company representatives. "This means Starlink can provide more bandwidth with increased reliability and connect millions of more people around the world with high-speed internet."
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/beKNtgwhkc— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 17, 2023
The successful deployment of these 22 Starlink V2 Mini satellites brings the total number of launched Starlink satellites to an impressive 4,962. Out of these, approximately 4,619 remain in orbit around Earth, forming the backbone of SpaceX's expanding broadband constellation. The company plans to launch a total of 12,000 internet-beaming satellites in the years to come.
The previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket that carried out this mission achieved yet another feat by safely landing on the 'A Shortfall of Gravitas' droneship (video linked below). This marks the 217th landing of an orbital-class rocket for SpaceX and the 190th reuse of a Falcon 9 first-stage booster. The specific first-stage booster identified as B1067-13 successfully completed its 13th flight. Notable missions in its impressive track record include: SpaceX's 22nd and 25th NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-22 & CRS-25) missions to the International Space Station (ISS), the transportation of NASA Crew-3 and Crew-4 astronauts to the ISS, the launch of the Turksat 5B satellite, and successful deployments of the Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13G, mPOWER-a, PSN SATRIA satellites, in addition to five Starlink missions.
With each successful launch and deployment, SpaceX brings the world closer to its vision of global, high-speed internet coverage, making technological advancements in space accessibility that continue to reshape connectivity and communication on a global scale.
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Featured Images Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
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.