SpaceX is known for juggling several projects at the same time. However, the Starlink program seems to be time and capital intensive. As the company plans for thousands of Starlink satellites in orbit at the same time, it is imperative to ensure a steady stream of launches to bolster the numbers. The company has been doing exactly that, recently sending another compliment of 60 Starlink satellites into Earth orbit to be used for providing high-speed data service for paying customers.
The launch took place from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the Falcon 9 booster that propelled the satellites into space making a safe landing on a SpaceX drone ship shortly after.
According to reports from Space.com, the recent launch has already been delayed twice due to poor weather and a decision by SpaceX to perform a data review ahead of the launch.
The company already flew more than 12 missions so far in 2020, many of them being Starlink satellite deployment missions. A Falcon 9 can carry up to 60 Starlink satellites at a time. However, the company is fond of using it for missions for other clients for the delivery of smaller numbers of its satellites into orbit. In most cases, SpaceX finds a way of filling the rest with its tiny Starlink machines if a client’s satellite does not need all the payload space.
SpaceX has come under strong criticisms in recent times for its Starlink program, especially the Starlink satellites. A number of astronomers have proven the difficulty in getting a clear image of the cosmos when there are dozens of satellites flying overhead. However, SpaceX is not even close to having its full horde of Starlink hardware in orbit.
Presently, SpaceX has about 700 Starlink satellites in orbit, a number that is enough to get early testing started, according to Elon Musk. However, this is not close to the company’s goal, with the US government already giving SpaceX the go ahead to send up to 12,000 of the tiny satellites into orbit.
SpaceX has come up with different initiatives to solve the astronomy problem. One of such ways includes painting the Starlink hardware matte black and installing visors that block the reflection from the Sun. However, the effectiveness of these measures in the long term is yet to be known.
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