SpaceX launched a new broadband constellation “Starlink” satellite that will be deployed in low earth orbit on April 7, US time. This brings the number of Starlink satellites launched after March 4 to 300, maintaining a fast pace of 60 each on five flights.
The last launch was on March 24, US time, before that on March 14, March 11, and March 4. This pace is intentionally fast, as SpaceX aims to launch a total of 1500 Starlink satellites by the end of 2021. Even before this particularly busy month, SpaceX launched four other Starlink missions, including SpaceX’s first ride-sharing mission, which also carried satellites from other customers.
Related article: SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites, 240 in March alone
SpaceX has launched a total of 1443 Starlink satellites so far. However, this does not reflect the total number of satellites currently in orbit. Some of the early satellites were launched as planned. Based on the frequency spectrum currently filed with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), the final planned constellation size is expected to include up to 42,000 satellites.
SpaceX recently signed a new agreement with NASA to define how both organizations can avoid the approach and collision of their respective spacecraft. NASA has enacted measures to avoid this type of accident and requires all rocket launchers to comply, but the size and frequency of SpaceX’s Starlink missions required broader additional agreements.
Related article: NASA and SpaceX sign advanced information sharing agreement to prevent Starlink collisions
At this launch, the Falcon 9 rocket used was also landed for the seventh time as a booster. The booster, which landed on the SpaceX landing pad in the Atlantic Ocean as planned, will be refurbished for future reuse. SpaceX is also considering recovering the fairing, a split cargo cover that protects the satellite during takeoff, at sea. The company has just retired two ships that had previously used to recover this cover, which slows down and falls on a parachute, in the air, but now aims to recover it from the sea and reuse it after landing. ing.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.