SpaceX launched the 10th round of Starlink satellites on Friday. This was the fifth attempt for Elon Musk’s company to send it’s next round of internet-beaming satellites to space.
SpaceX last attempted to launch the group of Starlink satellites was on July 11, but like three previous attempts the liftoff was called off.
SpaceX launches 10th round of Starlink satellites https://bit.ly/3igs3rpPosted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Thursday, August 6, 2020
The Falcon 9 launch happened around 1:12 a.m. on Friday.
Here are four things you need to know about the launch:
- What’s on board: 57 Starlink communications satellites and two spacecraft for BlackSky Global. BlackSky purchased a ride through Spaceflight Inc., a company that arranges transport for spacecraft and payloads to space.
- Landing information: About eight minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first-stage booster landed on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Starlink internet: After this launch, SpaceX will have launched nearly 600 Starlink satellites. The goal is to create a network of satellites to produce high-speed internet anywhere in the world. SpaceX has yet to say when the internet will go live but recently the company launched a website where people can sign up to get updates on service availability. According to that website, Starlink is targeting service in the Northern U.S. and Canada in 2020.
- Astronomy impacts: SpaceX heard feedback from the astronomy community about the shear number of Starlink satellites and possible interference in astronomical observations and has worked to address those concerns. For this launch all the Starlink satellites were equipped with a visor that can be deployed to block sunlight from hitting the brightest spots of the spacecraft. SpaceX said this helped prevents the satellite from reflecting sunlight down to Earth and interfering with astronomical observations. The company also previously tried a darkening technique on one of the satellites that reduced its reflectivity by about half, according to SpaceX.