SpaceX topped up another 60 Starlink satellites to bring the constellation total to 713. This additional launch comes amid the ongoing constellation operation tests. The Falcon 9 rocket has been instrumental in ensuring that the constellation satellites’ launch even with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Falcon 9 rocket launched for the low-Earth orbit deployment mission from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. The reusable booster came back docking safely in the drone ship at the Indian Ocean. SpaceX intends to unveil a customer service internet connection for its Starlink satellites. The tests are currently ongoing for the internet accessibility by the firm’s employees, according to a report by Kate Tice, an engineer at SpaceX.
Kate reiterates that the internet speed for these connections escalates to over 100 Mbps, although she was adamant about outlining the internet’s latency. Kate gave a generalized idea concerning the latency, saying that their operations control team is working.
Kate Tice stated that the exact quantity of the satellites that they will have launched this year would rise with time until they achieve the targeted 42000 satellite constellation. She added that more adjustments would follow wherever it deems fit in this constellation to realize the constellation’s full potential. One of the new modifications in the latest satellites is an interlinking device which minimizes the time for connecting the satellites to the existing constellation.
Tice admitted that two satellites had been equipped with linking lasers to increase the data transfer quantity between them and the neighboring satellites. A full switch and update of the lasers will increase the speed of data transfer globally for devices connected to this internet.
If the interlinking mechanism proves to be efficient, then the US Federal Communications Commission will invest in this technology and reduce the Americans’ price. However, SpaceX warned the FCC of a possible milliseconds buffering of the signal.
Currently, SpaceX is deorbiting the worn-out old satellites and clearing the subsequent debris to update their orbits with high quality and modified satellites to facilitate the transition to the 5G network. Another addition to this advancement is the TinTin prototypes from Analytical Graphics to minimize the buffering.
To sum up, T.S. Kelso of the AGI advised SpaceX to deorbit four of its satellites, which have worn out after playing their role in the low-Earth orbit for long. The astrodynamicist identified the weaknesses in these four satellites after closely observing the performance of the four satellites.