SpaceX kicks off the new year with 60 more Starlink satellites

Katie Ramirez
January 8, 2020

This is SpaceX's very first satellite launch in the year 2020, the second time for them to use Falcon-9 early stage booster, and StarLink's third time to liftoff internet satellites on the space.

The Falcon 9 rocket shot into a cold, clear night sky and was recycled by SpaceX for the fourth flight. On the other side, researchers and scientists fear the increasing space junk, owing to the launch of satellites in such magnitude. SpaceX is testing a less-reflective coating on one of the satellites. Then, the Merlin Vac second stage engine fired up just long enough for a precise two-second burn to reach the final point of deployment: all 60 Starlink satellites separated from their carrier at once, then ignited krypton-powered thrusters to soar to their final position in the skies nearly 200 miles above Earth. SpaceX has previously estimated that the proposed Starlink array could involve as many as 12,000 satellites in varying orbits to provide global internet coverage.

Placement of the Starlink broadband collection would be the fundamental of the firm's launch business in the year 2020. In response, SpaceX developed a darkening treatment to reduce reflectivity. He heads the American Astronomical Society's committee for light pollution, space debris and radio interference and works with SpaceX on this topic.

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"Everything that obscures the satellites is a step in the right direction", Hall said in an email Monday.

The Starlinks are initially in a relatively low orbit of 290 kilometers (180 miles) and are clearly visible as a long, lined-up cluster that sweeps through the night sky. The satellites are particularly visible shortly after they are offloaded from the rocket - as they tend to congregate in a mass before going off to their particular orbits. It has been reported that at least three of the 120 satellites are dead with an additional two actively preparing to de-orbit.

Falcon left the building of Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. However, towards the end of the mission live stream, Lauren Lyons, a Starlink satellite engineer at SpaceX who had been hosting the broadcast, revealed that the attempt had been unsuccessful.

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