SpaceX Launches 60 New Starlink Satellites into Orbit

James Marshall
October 20, 2020

The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket was launched from NASA's historic 39A runway.

The SpaceX Falcon9 B1051 lifts off from Kennedy Space Center's pad at LC39-A, flying for a sixth time as it carries the fourteenth batch of Starlink satellites aloft on October 18, 2020.

"The commission notes that a BITS licence does not by itself authorize an entity to operate as a facilities-based carrier or non-facilities-based service provider", the CRTC's Secretary Council Claude Doucet stated in a letter to SpaceX CFO Bret Johnsen. The upper-stage engine later designed the payload to run in a close circle of 172 miles (278 kilometers) above the earth, with a tilt of 53 degrees toward the equator. SpaceX confirmed the back-to-back catch around an hour after Falcon 9's July 20th liftoff, followed by onboard videos showing both catches.

Less than a minute after stage separation, the two halves of the rocket's nose cone fairing, both veterans of two earlier missions, fell away for parachute descents to capture netting aboard waiting recovery ships.

In fact, there is a launch scheduled this Wednesday.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said the firm plan is to launch thousands of Sterlink satellites into low-Earth orbit over the next few years, creating a network capable of splitting broadband into more than 99 percent of the world's populated areas.

The flat-panel Starlink satellites weigh a quarter-tonne each. To do this, SpaceX wants to compel at least 1,440 satellites.

Although there are not nowadays sufficient satellites in orbit for continual accepted content, SpaceX has already started recruiting initial test users for a regional service in the northern United States and Canada.

"Unlimited global network with higher performance and ground infrastructure limits than traditional satellite internet, Starling access will provide high speed broadband internet to places that are unreliable, expensive or completely unavailable", the company's website says.

Earlier this month, Washington officials said the Hoh tribe was starting to use the Starlink service. "For the last eight years, I have noticed that we are tying the river with a spoon and getting internet for reservations is nearly nowhere to be found". Thus, the company's orbit satellite network has expanded a little more.

As an example of the impact of that extraordinary affordability, if SpaceX put the entirety of its latest $2B capital raise towards Starlink missions, it could likely complete 60-80 launches, placing some 3600-4800 new satellites in orbit.

The company added 60 satellites to the 6 satellites in the Starlink network with the Falcon 9 launch on October 6 and another 60 spacecraft on Sunday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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