Coming soon - Starlink

Sounds tiring.

I’m going back to bed. :sleeping_bed:

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A picture of the Starlink ‘satellite train’ taken with a camera phone.


STARLINK SATELLITES PHOTOBOMB A METEOR SHOWER: Yes, there was an outburst of alpha Monocerotid meteors on Nov. 22nd. As predicted by forecasters Esko Lyytinen and Peter Jenniskens (NASA/Ames), Earth grazed a filament of comet dust, prompting a flurry of meteors to emerge from the constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn). In La Palma on the Canary islands, a Global Meteor Network camera captured the display–and something more. Starlink photobombed the meteor shower:

Dozens of Starlink satellites flew through the camera’s field of view, putting on a display that rivaled the meteor shower itself. The score: alpha Monocerotids 90, Starlink 50. And the Starlink satellites were much brighter.

“It was a real eye-opener,” remarked Bill Cooke, the lead of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, when he saw the video. “This kind of thing could force us to change how we write software to auto-detect meteors.”

The satellites appear at the very end of the embedded video.

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SpaceX successfully launches 60 more satellites for its Starlink broadband internet constellation

Darrell Etherington@etherington / 9:30 pm EST • January 6, 2020

SpaceX successfully launched its third batch of 60 Starlink satellites – the second designated ‘production’ hardware, after launching an initial group of 60 early in 2019 to test the technology. This group launched aboard a Falcon 9 with a first stage booster that has already seen service in three previous missions, including two in 2019, one of which was the first bulk Starlink mission in May 2019.

This launch took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and delivered the satellites to an orbit 290 km (around 180 miles) above Earth, and then the satellites will perform diagnostics to ensure they’re in proper working order before moving to their final target orbits using their own onboard thrusters.

SpaceX also brought back the Falcon 9 booster used on this mission for a controlled landing aboard their ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ drone landing ship. The company will also look to recover half of the payload fairing on this launch, with an attempt to catch the protective cargo cover gin using ‘Ms. Tree,’ one of two ships SpaceX has custom configured to catch the spacecraft component in a large net.

Likely to help mitigate criticism from the scientific community regarding the Starlink constellation’s potential to impact visibility of space from Earth, SpaceX also detailed the steps its taking to address this. It notes that though the satellites it’s launching will be very visible immediately after launch, after between one and four months, they’ll climb to their final target orbit and re-orient themselves to become “significantly less visible from the ground.” The company also says it’s “testing an experimental marketing treatment on one satellite” to see if that further reduces their effect on night sky visibility for high-sensitivity research instruments.

Starlink will provide high-speed, relatively low-latency broadband internet connectivity to customers on the ground, starting with those in the U.S. and Canada, with service potentially becoming available as early as later this year.


I love this so damn much.

WASHINGTON — SpaceX launched 60 of its own Starlink broadband satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket Jan. 6, becoming the operator of the world’s largest commercial satellite constellation.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 9:19 p.m. Eastern from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on SpaceX’s first launch of the year. The company’s 60 Starlink satellites, built to provide high-speed internet, separated from the rocket’s upper stage about an hour later.

SpaceX launched the satellites to a 290-kilometer orbit where the company will perform checkouts before raising them to their final 550-kilometer orbit.

SpaceX’s fairing-catcher ship “Ms. Tree” was unsuccessful in netting a fairing half after the launch.

The rocket’s first stage landed on the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean, completing its fourth mission. SpaceX used this same booster to launch 60 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit in May 2019, 10 Iridium Next satellites for Iridium in January 2019, and Telesat Canada’s Telstar 18 Vantage geostationary satellite in September 2018.

SpaceX has now launched 182 satellites for Starlink, counting two prototypes the company orbited nearly two years ago.

It’s not clear if all 182 Starlink satellites will be part of the constellation SpaceX expects to begin service with later this year. Some 10 satellites from SpaceX’s May 2019 Starlink launch never reached their final operational orbit, according to a Jan. 2 report from Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who tracks satellite movements.

SpaceX said in July that three Starlink satellites had failed shortly after launch, and that another two healthy satellites would be intentionally deorbited as practice. The company did not respond to a SpaceNews inquiry Jan. 6 as to why 10 satellites have not reached their target orbit instead of five.

Regardless of if Starlink has 172 or 182 satellites, SpaceX still eclipses Planet, which has a constellation of 150 remote-sensing satellites, as the record holder for the world’s largest commercial satellite constellation.

SpaceX is deploying its first 1,584 satellites at 550 kilometers to accelerate service rollout and reduce the risk of creating orbital debris. At that altitude, any Starlink satellites that fail would naturally deorbit from atmospheric drag within 25 years — a guideline suggested by NASA and other space agencies.

One of the 60 satellites launched tonight was given a “darkening treatment” to make it less reflective. Shotwell told reporters last month that SpaceX is experimenting with different ways to make Starlink satellites less reflective so they don’t interfere with ground-based astronomy.

In December, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved a SpaceX request to fan out its Starlink satellites in more 550-kilometer orbits — a modification SpaceX says will enable the company to expand Starlink’s coverage to populated areas more rapidly.

SpaceX anticipated conducting up to six Starlink launches in 2019, but ended the year having done just two. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said in September that the company planned to do 24 Starlink launches in 2020, each presumably carrying 60 satellites.

SpaceX is building and launching up to 12,000 Starlink satellites, and has filed regulatory paperwork with the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union for another 30,000 satellites.

Other companies are also planning large constellations of internet satellites, but none as large as SpaceX. OneWeb is planning a constellation of 1,980 satellites, Amazon is preparing for a 3,236-satellite constellation, and Telesat is designing a roughly 300-satellite broadband network.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in May that Starlink would be “economically viable” at 1,000 satellites. He said reaching 12,000 satellites would be a “very successful outcome” for Starlink.

Ok. So at the end of the previous article its talking about relatively low latency internet. Any idea how low? Cause that has always seemed to an issue with Satellite internet.

Starlink satellites would orbit at ​1⁄30 to ​1⁄105 of the height of geostationary orbits, and thus offer more practical Earth-to-sat latencies of around 25 to 35 ms, comparable to existing cable and fiber networks.

Wikipedia › wiki › Starlink_(satellit…

Starlink (satellite constellation) - Wikipedia

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Excellent. Thank you.

Yeah, that’s why we are talking thousands of satellites. They are going to be far, far closer to the ground than existing satellite services, thus covering less ground per satellite.

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After waiting more than a week for good weather, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday from Cape Canaveral with 60 more satellites for the company’s Starlink Internet network, continuing to build out a fleet of fleet of orbiting broadband relay stations that could eventually number in the thousands.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket fired up at 9:06:49 a.m. EST (1406:49 GMT) Wednesday and climbed away from from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad. An incandescent flame from the rocket’s nine Merlin 1D main engines — collectively generating 1.7 million pounds of thrust — trailed more than 20 stories behind the launcher.

A roar from the Falcon 9’s engines reached spectators a few seconds later as the rocket arced toward the northeast into clear skies over Florida’s Space Coast.

The liftoff Wednesday came after a series of weather delays since last week. After performing a standard pre-launch test-firing of the rocket, SpaceX pushed back the launch from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24, then to Monday, Jan. 27, to wait for improved weather conditions in the Atlantic Ocean, where SpaceX stationed ships to retrieve the first stage and payload fairing from the Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX scrubbed a launch attempt Monday due to strong upper level winds, then bypassed a launch opportunity Tuesday, again wait for better weather in the downrange recovery area.

Weather conditions at Cape Canaveral appeared ideal for a launch Wednesday, and SpaceX’s 80th Falcon 9 flight put on a spectacular show.

Two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, the rocket’s first stage shut down its engines and dropped away from the Falcon 9’s second stage. Seconds later, the upper stage’s single Merlin engine — modified with an enlarged nozzle for better performance in space — ignited to accelerate the 60 Starlink satellites into orbit.

The Falcon 9 jettisoned its clamshell-like payload fairing nearly three-and-a-half minutes into the mission.

Flying tail first, the rocket’s first stage booster reignited three of its nine engines to guide it toward SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” positioned around 400 miles (630 kilometers) northeast of Cape Canaveral. A final landing burn using the center engine slowed the booster for a controlled vertical touchdown on the football field-sized barge, marking the 49th time SpaceX has recovered one of its rockets intact.

he booster flown Wednesday was making its third trip to space, following successful launches and landings in March 2019 and June 2019 on flights carrying SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and Canada’s Radarsat Constellation Mission. With Wednesday’s mission, the booster has launched from all three of SpaceX’s active launch pads in Florida and California.

The two halves of the Falcon 9’s payload shroud used cold gas thrusters to maneuver into the proper orientation for descent, then unfurled parafoils for a gentle fall toward the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX’s two fast-moving fairing recovery boats — named “Ms. Tree and “Ms. Chief” — tried to catch both halves of the Falcon 9’s aerodynamic fairing.

SpaceX confirmed Ms. Tree caught one side of the shroud in a giant net. Ms. Chief, equipped with a similar net, failed to snag the other half of the fairing before it fell into the sea, but teams were expected to pull the hardware from the ocean for inspections and refurbishment.

While SpaceX’s teams in the Atlantic were busy recovering pieces of the Falcon 9 rocket for reuse, the launcher’s upper stage — which is not reusable — fired its engine two times to place the 60 Starlink satellites into a targeted 180-mile-high (290-kilometer) orbit inclined 53 degrees to the equator.

SpaceX said the rocket did its job placing the satellites into the proper orbit, and live video from the Falcon 9’s second stage showed the 60 flat-panel satellites separating from the launch vehicle as it flew south of Australia about one hour after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.

The spacecraft were expected to extend their power-generating solar panels, and krypton ion thrusters on each satellite will begin raising their orbits to an altitude of around 341 miles (550 kilometers), where SpaceX intends to operate its first 1,584 Starlink platforms to provide worldwide Internet service.

The Starlink satellites, built at a SpaceX facility in Redmond, Washington, filled the volume of the Falcon 9’s payload fairing. Each satellite weighs around 573 pounds, or 260 kilograms, and the Starlink craft stacked together form the heaviest payload SpaceX has ever launched.

With Wednesday’s launch, SpaceX has deployed 240 Starlink satellites on four dedicated missions since last May. That makes SpaceX the owner of the world’s largest fleet of commercial satellites.

SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission to eventually field a fleet of up to 12,000 small Starlink broadband stations. But SpaceX has said the size of the Starlink fleet will grow with demand after the company launches its initial block of 1,584 satellites.

SpaceX says 24 launches are needed to provide global broadband service through the Starlink service. But the company could provide an interim level of service over parts of the Earth later this year, once SpaceX has launched around 720 satellites on 12 Falcon 9 flights.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, told reporters in December that the Redmond factory was producing as many as seven satellites per day.

“Because Starlink satellites fly in a global constellation, we can bring high-speed Internet to places that previously had terrible service or no service at all,” said Lauren Lyons, a SpaceX engineer who provided commentary on SpaceX’s webcast of Wednesday’s mission. “Some of the most exciting opportunities for Starlink are rural or remote locations where traditional fiber or cable just isn’t practical.”

Cruise ships, airplanes and the U.S. military are also likely customers of Starlink services.

SpaceX has not announced a price for the Starlink service, or downlink and uplink speeds customers can expect through the network.

“Building a constellation that can provide this level of service is incredibly challenging, but we are making steady progress toward that goal with every Starlink launch,” Lyons said.

“It takes a few weeks for those satellites to reach their final orbit destination, so we don’t have the results of that DarkSat experiment just yet, but we’ll be sure to share what we’ve learned as the data becomes available,” Lyons said.

With Wednesday’s launch, SpaceX has sent 120 Starlink satellites into orbit on two Falcon 9 missions just this month. At least one Starlink launch with approximately 60 additional satellites is scheduled in February on another Falcon 9 rocket.

More than half of SpaceX’s 35 to 38 launches scheduled in 2020 will carry Starlink satellites, Shotwell said last month.


Another 60 launched today!

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I wonder if 43 degrees will be considered high.

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