Back in 2015, SpaceX announced that they would tackle a new challenge delivering cost-effective broadband internet to customers around the globe and if successful, people all over the world including those who never had internet service before would be able to use internet at any part of the globe.
On May 23, 2019, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SpaceX launched 60 brand new Starlink satellites. Starlink is a next-generation satellite network capable of connecting the globe, especially reaching those who are not yet connected, with reliable and affordable broadband internet services.
Starlink is designed to connect end users with low latency, high bandwidth broadband services by providing continual coverage around the world using a network of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit. To make things more sure, SpaceX simplified the Starlink design which is more scalable and capable than its first experimental iteration.
Each Starlink satellite weighs approximately 227 kg with a flat-panel design featuring multiple high-throughput antennas and a single solar array which allows SpaceX to maximize the mass production and take full advantage of Falcon 9’s launch capabilities.
Additionally these satellites are capable of tracking on-orbit debris and autonomously avoiding collision also 95% of all the components on the satellites are demisable meaning at the end of their lifecycle each satellite will quickly burn in Earth’s atmosphere.
Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.
Falcon 9’s simple two-stage configuration minimizes the number of separation events and with nine first-stage engines, it can safely complete its mission even in the event of an engine shutdown.
Mission Starlink is one of those mission which will push the operational capabilities of the satellites to the limit. High numbers of satellites in constant motion covering all parts of the globe and since they are so low to the Earth that latency or delay from the signal going from ground to the satellite and back down to the ground is much lower than a geostationary satellite.
SpaceX would begin approaching customers later this year or next year. Targeting up to 6 Starlink launches this year and will accelerate the candence next year to put nearly 720 satellites in orbit for continuous coverage of most populated areas on Earth.