New day, new launch (and landing) of SpaceX. The space company has carried out a new launch of its rocket with resounding success in recent hours. While this is spectacular in itself, even more so if we consider that the booster It has been reused for the eighth time and its load of 60 Starlink satellites has led to another record.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with a total of 60 new Starlink satellites. Actually the launch had to take place two days ago, although the weather conditions have prevented it. After a few minutes rising, the first stage of the Falcon 9 descended back and landed on SpaceX’s ‘Just Read the Instructions’ recovery ship. It is one of the two ships that the company uses to recover its rockets at sea.
The Falcon 9 rocket It had the B1051 booster. This one in particular has already made his eighth trip on a Falcon 9 rocket, thus setting the record for the most reused booster by the company. Likewise, it is the one that has done it in shorter periods of time, on December 13, 2020 is the last time it was used.
Among the achievements of this B1051 is transporting the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. Of course, it has also served for more “mundane” tasks such as placing Starlink satellites in orbit. At the moment SpaceX is on a roll, at the beginning of 2020 it lost two of its boosters but since then he has recovered each and every one of them.
Starlink’s megaconstruction: 1,000 satellites and counting
The other point to keep in mind about this release and why it is special is Starlink. With 60 new satellites deployed in orbit, SpaceX has already exceeded the symbolic figure of 1,000 satellites. There are in fact already a total of 1,015 operating to provide coverage on Earth.
Deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed pic.twitter.com/XrHInb3aYT
– SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 20, 2021
The idea of Starlink is form a network of satellites that covers the entire planet and with them offer broadband Internet connection throughout the world. Satellite Internet offers the advantage of being able to reach anywhere without depending on cable infrastructures. The downside is its speed, not as effective as wired. This however is just what Starlink seeks to solve, promising broadband internet of around 100 Mbps and with little ping.
At the moment the tests in the beta version seem to comply with this. We have also been able to see what the antennas that are going to be used here on Earth are like and other specifications. The 1,015 satellites, although they seem many, nor do they come close to what the company has raised. They are looking to place thousands more satellites to offer decent coverage anywhere in the world.
For now SpaceX has the approval of the Federal Communications Commission to place 12,000 satellites in space. With this we can get an idea of how big you want your Starlink megacontrol to be. But there is more, they are looking for the approval of 30,000 extra satellites.