Starlink, the internet satellite company of Elon Musk, has sent 60 new satellites into orbit, reaching a total of 300 this month. SpaceX has launched 1,443 satellites so far, but is still far from reaching its initial target of 12,000.
The latest launch, which took place on April 7, was a success. The Falcon 9 amplifier has successfully touched the floating landing of SpaceX in the Atlantic Ocean.
For Starlink users, the latest introduction should mean better overall internet connections. Because there are so few satellites in orbit, Starlink customers have noticed that speeds can vary throughout the day. The overall strength remains to be seen, but we will have a better idea in the coming weeks.
While Starlink is still in beta, users at latitudes from Seattle and above are reporting impressive speeds, far faster than they had before. Starlink will become fully operational, at its current pace, sometime in 2030 when the megacostel reaches its 12,000 satellite targets.
Starlink is currently projected to launch 6,000 satellites into orbit by 2025, reaching halfway. Of course, as SpaceX continues to improve in satellite launches, it is possible that Elona Muska’s space company will reach 12,000 before 2030.
But 12,000 is not the end. SpaceX has applied to the FCC to launch up to 30,000 satellites over the next few decades, bringing the total to 42,000. In fact, there are so many satellites that some worry that it could make space exploration and exploration more difficult.
SpaceX posted a video on Twitter showing a bunch of Starlink satellites going into orbit and splitting up.
60 Starlink satellites confirmed to complete SpaceX’s 10th mission this year pic.twitter.com/c15BveB3QEApril 7, 2021
For those interested, below is a video of the full presentation. It shows flight, the rocket reaches maximum speed, separates the steps and finally reaches orbit. And if you rewind forward to 27 minutes, you can see the rocket land on the floating surface for the SpaceX landing in the Atlantic Ocean.
Final rewinding to the 1:23 mark will allow you to see Starlink satellites flying into space with an explanation from SpaceX’s hosts. Using built-in ion thrusters, the satellites will move away over the next few days and weeks until they reach operational orbit.