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All about SpaceX’s Starlink Mission

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Operated under SpaceX, Starlink is a satellite constellation development project with an aim of developing high performance satellite bus at cheapest cost possible.

SpaceX Seeks Australian Licences For Starlink Satellite Broadband
Source: Lightning Broadband

According to SpaceX, if the mission succeeds then it can offer internet speeds which can reach as high as 1 Gbps with latency lying between 25 ms and 35 ms. If you don’t know whether latencies between 25ms and 35ms are any good then you need to know that existing broadband services offer latencies which reach upto 600 ms.

Lets have some look at the starlink spacecraft and the development status of the project.

Starlink’s Spacecraft

Flat panel like design which is equipped with high performing antennas for proper transmission of waves alongside single solar array.

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For the reaction mass, SpaceX used Hall effect thrusters and also to adjust the position of satellite on orbit. However, despite of using all these equipments, the spacecraft mass was limited to only 227kg.

SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft to return to Earth
Source: The Statesman

All the satellites built under this project are equipped with precision tracking which means they are capable of avoiding collisions on their own.

Some of the most advanced security and defense equipments are installed in these satellites. It has been confirmed by the SpaceX itself that almost 95% components of this design will get burnt in Earth’s atmosphere at the end of their life cycle.

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Development status of the Starlink Constellation Project

Federal Communications Commission has approved the SpaceX to make use of million ground antennas for this constellation development project.

SpaceX has already launched almost 60 V1.0 satellites on November 11, 2019. These satellites are successfully placed into their orbits at an altitude of 550 km from Earth’s surface.

SpaceX Launches Fourth Starlink Mission As Its Mega Constellation ...
Source: Forbes

As of now, SpaceX was planning to deploy almost 1500 satellites into their orbits in the year 2020 itself but due to some serious issue the project was delayed.

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Suddenly the company has increased their demand of spectrums to 4 times to what was decided at the very start of this project. You will be amazed to know that the company is planning to launch almost 42000 satellites under this project. However, it is a cause of concern for many astronomers and scientists.

(Featured Image Source: Business Insider)

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