On April 29, at 03:44 GMT, the Starlink-24 mission launched another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit. This launch marked the 25th Starlink mission and brought the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 1,505.
The Starlink satellites have a flat and compact design, which allows up to 60 satellites to be inserted into the Falcon 9. Despite its small size, each Starlink satellite is equipped with high-tech communications systems, cost-saving technologies and provides the satellite star trackers with attitude data.
The Starlink satellites are also equipped with an autonomous collision avoidance system. This system uses the US Department of Defense debris tracking database to autonomously avoid collisions with other spacecraft and space junk.
Updated April 7, 2021: Starlink-23 mission
On April 7, at 4:34 pm GMT, SpaceX sent the 24th batch of Starlink satellites into orbit. The Falcon-9 rocket with 60 satellites on board took off from Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida, USA.
Meanwhile, other players are entering the satellite internet service market. In the United States, SpaceX’s main competitor is Amazon, with its Project Kuiper. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says his satellites will perform as efficiently as Elon Musk’s, but cost less, thanks to smaller, cheaper antennas. Another company building its own constellation of satellites is OneWeb, based in the UK. It has already launched 146 satellites into low Earth orbit and plans to launch several thousand over the next few years.
Many people continue to express concern about such a large number of satellites in our planet’s orbit. The risk of collision remains the biggest problem. Under these circumstances, government authorities may have to start thinking about new international laws and regulations for satellite operators.Updated March 24, 2021: Starlink-22 mission
On March 24, 2021, at 08:28 GMT, the 23rd batch of approximately 60 satellites for the Starlink broadband network was launched. Now, the total number of Starlink satellites in Earth’s orbit is 1,385 units.
Although the Starlink service is only available in the Northwest United States, parts of Canada and the United Kingdom and some other regions, the coverage map will continue to grow as more Internet satellites join the constellation.
Starlink aims to provide super-fast global internet coverage with very low latency, which would also be available in rural and remote areas. SpaceX’s Internet constellation will likely need at least 10,000 satellites in orbit to provide coverage for most of the globe.
Updated March 14, 2021: Starlink-21 mission
On March 14, at 10:01 GMT, SpaceX launched the 22nd batch of 60 other Internet Starlink satellites via its Falcon 9 rocket. Starlink-21 thus increased the number of Starlink satellites launched to a total of 1,325.
The first stage of the Starlink satellite network consists of five orbital shells. The first orbital shell will include 1,584 satellites orbiting at 550 km on 53.0 ° inclined planes. This is the shell that SpaceX is currently filling and is expected to be completed by June 2021. Once completed, the first shell will provide Internet coverage between approximately 52 ° and -52 ° latitude, which is approximately 80% of the Earth’s surface. .