SpaceX Falcon 9 launched into low Earth orbit the first 54 Starlink satellites of the new generation. Launched from the SLC-40 launch pad of Cape Canaveral’s US Air Force Base on 28th December 2022, SpaceX Falcon 9 was the first commercial launch from the base. Since the beginning of 2022, SpaceX has successfully launched 60 missions.
US Air Force Base at Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40 launch pad carried out the launch at 11:34 Kyiv time. The 60th successful SpaceX mission since 2022 has just been completed.
Depending on the launch vehicle, Starlink v2.0 satellites come in several different configurations. The new satellites were initially supposed to be launched by Starship, so their size and mass would be several times greater than the previous versions – 2000 kg against 260 and 295 kg, respectively. Due to SpaceX’s delayed super-heavy rocket, Starlink v2.0 is carried by the good old Falcon 9. The mass of such satellites is 303 kg, and their dimensions are nearly the same as in version 1.5.
The number of operational Starlink satellites currently in orbit is 3,604. Initially, 12,000 satellites are planned, with the possibility of expanding to 42,000 in the future.
– Key points from SpaceX’s launch of 54 Starlink v2.0 satellites into low-earth orbit
- Depending on the launch vehicle, Starlink v2.0 satellites come in several different configurations.
- In the beginning, it was assumed that Starship would launch the new satellites.
- As a consequence, the size and mass of version 2.0 should be several times greater than those of versions 1.0 and 1.5.
- Starlink v2.0 will now be carried by a good old Falcon 9 rocket because SpaceX’s super-heavy rocket is a bit delayed.
- They weigh 303 kg, and they are almost the same size as v.15 satellites.
- Among the main differences between Starlink v2.0 and v1.0 is the larger antenna and larger bandwidth of each satellite.
- There is a laser communication system between satellites and the v1.5 devices can communicate directly with ordinary mobile phones.