Another 60 Starlink internet satellites orbited by SpaceX
SpaceX launched its 25th batch of Starlink internet satellites to join its ever-growing constellation in low Earth orbit as the company continues its push for global coverage.
Liftoff atop a Falcon 9 took place at 11:44 p.m. EDT April 28 (03:44 UTC April 29), 2021, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The first stage, core B1060-7, was on its seventh flight and landed on the drone ship “Just Read The Instructions” less than 10 minutes later.
While the second stage reached orbit after about nine minutes, it coasted in orbit for about 35 minutes before briefly igniting its engine again to circularize its trajectory. Then about 20 minutes after that, the 60 Starlink satellites were deployed.
The constellation of satellites are nearing full connectivity and after twenty eight launches, continuous coverage is expected to be achieved, according to Gwen Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX.
The Federal Communication Commission recently approved a modification to the internet provider allowing Starlink to move its future satellites to an altitude of 550 kilometers despite the objections of Amazon and other companies.
The concern from other satellite networks is possible signal interference from the growing constellation. The FCC’s approval arrived just ahead of this launch, as SpaceX reached approximately 1,400 satellites in orbit and would have possibly had to suspend further launches until the modification approval was granted.
Starlink requested that once 1,584 satellites are in orbit, the next 2,814 satellites could orbit at an altitude of just under 570 kilometers, a split from SpaceX’s previous intention of an altitude above 1,100 kilometers.
Despite numerous objections to SpaceX’s proposed modifications from other providers, currently and intended, the FCC concluded there would be no signal interference in its approval of SpaceX’s modification request.
The Federal Communication Commission also requests SpaceX report twice yearly any “near misses” including those in the past six months. The FCC also would like a count of Starlink satellites that re-entered the earth’s atmosphere as well as ones that were discarded.
Video courtesy of SpaceX
Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.