SpaceX has finally launched the fourth batch of Starlink satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket after a being postponed for more than three days. Weather conditions have been the main concern as to why SpaceX always postponed the launch. “Falcon 9 and Starlink are looking good ahead of this morning’s launch at 9:06 a.m. EST, 14:06 UTC, and the weather is 80% favorable,” SpaceX said in a tweet.
After the second launch last year, SpaceX became the world’s largest private satellite operator. Today’s launch put around 240 small Starlink satellites in low earth orbit aiming at providing high broadband internet to consumers.
As the number of satellites put into low earth’s orbit increases, this increases the amount of space junk as these satellites reach the end of their useful life, SpaceX has worked around this issue by equipping Starlink satellites with onboard propulsion. This enables them to have a controlled de-orbit at the end of their useful life and burn when approaching the earth’s atmosphere, leaving zero debris.
Starlink aims at solving one key problem facing the traditional satellite, which is the inherent latency introduced by the immense distances of which the satellites themselves orbiting at. Low earth orbit helps communications with ground bases at a high bandwidth at any location whether in the middle of the ocean or rural areas that have not experienced the internet due to limited infrastructure as long as it has an open view to the skies.
Recent comments from SpaceX avow on rolling Starlink internet to consumers after 8 launches of 60 batches of these spacecraft into low earth orbit or LEO, this puts the remaining launchers to 3-4 to start delivering internet to North-America customers. A few moments from today’s launch.
A few moments from today’s launch
Falcon 9 first stage landing
Deployment of satellites