Another successful SpaceX launch and landing deploys 53 more Starlink satellites

Jimmy2x

Posts: 141   +11
Staff
Recap: SpaceX is one of the most exciting companies today when it comes to advancements in space travel. Never one to disappoint, the company launched yet another successful deployment of its Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral on Friday. The launch marks the 23rd Starlink mission of the year, providing enhanced connectivity to users around the world.

The event marked the 37th launch of the year for SpaceX and was the 9th launch overall for the specific Falcon 9 first-stage rocket that was used. The launch's second stage carried 53 of SpaceX's flat panel satellites into orbit. Their successful deployment brings the total number of Starlink satellites deployed to 3,108.

The launch was carried out at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at 3:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and lasted for just over 15 minutes. The first and second stages of the rocket separated approximately two and a half minutes after launch, at which time each stage completed their own independent steps to complete their missions.

The second stage continued further into space to deploy the Starlink satellite payload a little over 15 minutes after launch. The first stage, on the other hand, began its post-separation return trip to safely land on the SpaceX droneship, "A Shortfall of Gravitas," off of the Florida coast in the Atlantic Ocean several minutes later.

SpaceX's launch cadence and success record have been nothing short of impressive. With 37 orbital launches recorded this year so far, the company has easily bypassed 2021's record of 31 launches in a year. Yesterday's launch falls hot on the heels of two launches earlier this month. Starlink Group 4-26 was successfully deployed from the Kennedy Space Center on August 10. That launch was followed by the successful deployment of Starlink Group 3-3 from the Vandenberg Space Force Base on August 12. SpaceX currently plans to deploy two more launch groups from Kennedy and Vandenberg on August 28 and August 30.

The Starlink satellite internet constellation is a network of small, mass-produced satellites designed to communicate with earth-based transceivers to provide internet access to underserved areas. Currently, the network provides broadband access to 39 countries across Europe, North America, and South America. The list of countries includes coverage for Ukraine, who was given terminals and access in response to the Russian invasion in February 2022.

Image credit: SpaceX

Permalink to story.

 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,266   +7,617
It's always odd seeing old folks complain about things they don't understand. It compounds misunderstanding on misunderstanding.

Starlink isn't for zoomer urbanites. Socialization is the primary personal use of the internet in the first world.
Personally, I don't need to understand it. Can you say FTTH? ;)
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,305   +953
More space garbage, so more people can stay at home online, without social life. Happy days.

Just so, I’m writing it from a pub, enjoying a cigar and Guinness in a pub, not from home.

Ah yes - people in remote areas can't be trusted.

If you are 'in' a pub that allows smoking - well ye won't be havin' a stout in the Emerald Isles
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,266   +7,617
starlink satellites are in a low orbit. They are designed with a finite lifespan and are small enough to burn up in the atmosphere significantly higher than the altitude at which planes fly.
And so what if they are?

While they are in orbit, they are a problem for astronomers even if Musk claims he mitigated that problem by painting them black. Mitigation is not resolution. https://physicsworld.com/a/dark-coa...s-are-better-but-not-perfect-say-astronomers/ And while they are up there, they have to be taken into account for any vehicle crossing that boundary.

And as we know from other recent articles on TS about Starlink, they are finding ways to squeeze more money out of Starlink subscribers.

I get that it brings the internet to some people who otherwise would not have internet access, but as I see it, the solution is far from idea.
 

kmo911

Posts: 352   +43
This is god for education in contryes that not have that connection yet. africka with fiber or 5g alike net. best to have a fibe optical line if they want not be downgraded to love speed low speed.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
While they are in orbit, they are a problem for astronomers
City lights, public radio broadcasts, and even cell phones are a problem for astronomers. Should we ban all those as well? We're rapidly nearing the end of the terrestrial astronomy era anyway. Space-based telescopes won't be bothered by Starlink satellites, and, with SpaceX bringing down launch costs, there's no reason to rely on instruments stuck in the dirt down here.

I get that it brings the internet to some people who otherwise would not have internet access, but as I see it, the solution is far from idea.
Ideal? No solution ever is -- this one is just better than all the ones before it. An internet connection authoritarian governments can't simply cut off, while being as fully mobile as a cell phone connection.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,251   +2,800
TechSpot Elite
We're rapidly nearing the end of the terrestrial astronomy era anyway. Space-based telescopes won't be bothered by Starlink satellites, and, with SpaceX bringing down launch costs, there's no reason to rely on instruments stuck in the dirt down here.

There are almost 1000 ground based telescopes doing research and only 27 space-based telescopes. More than 97% of research telescopes being ground-based is in no way close to the end of terrestrial astronomy.

Starlink and similar projects will impact the majority of astronomical research being done for decades to come.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 848   +1,362
While they are in orbit, they are a problem for astronomers even if Musk claims he mitigated that problem by painting them black. Mitigation is not resolution. https://physicsworld.com/a/dark-coa...s-are-better-but-not-perfect-say-astronomers/ And while they are up there, they have to be taken into account for any vehicle crossing that boundary.
That link is completely out of date, SpaceX doesn’t even use dark paint anymore. Scientists generally agree that SpaceX has reduced the brightness of their satellites to acceptable levels (a magnitude of 7). That was like a year ago. They’re more concerned about the next satellites SpaceX is planning to launch as they’ll be 3x larger. This will probably happen next year.

Source: https://gizmodo.com/starlink-spacex-satellites-astronomy-1849076758
Hainaut estimates that Starlink 2.0 satellites will be about a full magnitude brighter than their predecessors. “With all the mitigation efforts by Starlink, they had managed to get SL1 close to the magnitude 7 limit most of the time,” Hainaut said. “One magnitude brighter would mean that more of the [second generation] satellites would be problematic, which of course is not nice.”

Some astronomers do recognize that SpaceX has made an effort to prevent its megaconstellation from interfering with precious observations of the universe. When they first launched, the Starlink satellites were visible to the unaided eye and they saturated the lenses of telescopes pointed in their direction. However, the International Astronomical Union established the Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference, and SpaceX has been in talks with the union, in addition to other astronomers at various institutions. As a result, the company has changed the orientation of the satellites, the orientation of the solar panels, and installed visors to reduce the brightness of the satellites.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
There are almost 1000 ground based telescopes doing research and only 27 space-based telescopes. More than 97% of research telescopes being ground-based is in no way close to the end of terrestrial astronomy.
Sorry, but you're making a false equivalence. Most space-based "telescopes" contain multiple instruments, for one, and most are orders of magnitude more capable than terrestrial ones. Already, nearly half of published research now comes from space-based platforms-(more than half, if one excludes radio-astronomy, which isn't affected by Starlink anyway). More to the point, the vast majority of new telescope funding is for space-based platforms.

Ground-based telescopes will persist for quite a while, sure, just as animal-drawn carts are still used in areas of the world today. But the future of astronomy, along with all the "big" discoveries, belongs to space.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,251   +2,800
TechSpot Elite
Sorry, but you're making a false equivalence. Most space-based "telescopes" contain multiple instruments, for one, and most are orders of magnitude more capable than terrestrial ones. Already, nearly half of published research now comes from space-based platforms-(more than half, if one excludes radio-astronomy, which isn't affected by Starlink anyway). More to the point, the vast majority of new telescope funding is for space-based platforms.

All telescopes have multiple instruments on them, not just space-based ones. And the ground-based ones can be easily upgraded to current specs, as opposed to current space telescopes.

Have any evidence for that published research claim? The best I could find is the Hubble produces about 2.7 more papers than other large telescopes. Just the Hubble, so 1 space-based scope vs. many dozens of ground-based scopes which cost a hell of a lot less. 2.7x, while pretty great, only goes so far.

And that's the problem here. You can get funding for quite a few ground-based telescopes for the cost of one space-based observatory, which is why there are so few space scopes existence and only 2 are currently under construction. So by necessity alone there is huge demand for ground based astronomy.

Sure the demand is greater for space-based scopes due to their obvious advantages but the balance of ground to space based astronomy will not be changing anytime soon due to cost.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 753   +572
One day, it is us who are going to have to pay for the cleanup of this trash from orbit, not Musk.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
Have any evidence for that published research claim? The best I could find is the Hubble produces about 2.7 more papers than other large telescopes...
The figure I recall was from 7-8 years ago, and had space-based telescopes at around 35%, with half the terrestrial contribution due to radiotelescopy. It will have increased since then.

And with all due respect, I think you're missing the point. For a telescope to do new research, it has to gather *new* data. That means it needs to either be better than existing instruments, or look somewhere they haven't already -- both of which are increasingly hard for ground-based instruments. Obviously I'm simplifying and ignoring countless tasks like KBO detection, variable star observation, etc. but the point still remains.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,251   +2,800
TechSpot Elite
The figure I recall was from 7-8 years ago, and had space-based telescopes at around 35%, with half the terrestrial contribution due to radiotelescopy. It will have increased since then.

And with all due respect, I think you're missing the point. For a telescope to do new research, it has to gather *new* data. That means it needs to either be better than existing instruments, or look somewhere they haven't already -- both of which are increasingly hard for ground-based instruments. Obviously I'm simplifying and ignoring countless tasks like KBO detection, variable star observation, etc. but the point still remains.

I agree that space based telescopes are the future and getting rid of the intervening atmosphere and local human RF and all other interference is the way to go for the best, newest science.

But it's the money. In the end, the US is building a single space telescope right now and China is also making one, that's it. It's a money, or logistics, or political will problem that isn't going to change much anytime soon. Which means that increased satellite visibility is going to impact a lot of science that needs to be done on the ground for no better reason than there is a shortage of space telescopes.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
In the end, the US is building a single space telescope right now and China is also making one, that's it.
Actually, there's a dozen-odd being built at the moment. Japan has one, India has one, and the ESA alone has four or five: Euclid, for instance is launching next year.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
You know what they say - I'll believe it when I see it! ;)
Believe.

"SpaceX satellites reenter atmosphere, burn up after falling out of orbit due to solar storm... Up to 40 of the 49 small satellites launched last week have either reentered the atmosphere and burned up, or are on the verge of doing so....A geomagnetic storm last Friday made the atmosphere denser, which increased the drag on the Starlink satellites, effectively dooming them.

Ground controllers tried to save the compact, flat-panel satellites by putting them into a type of hibernation and flying them in a way to minimize drag. But the atmospheric pull was too great...There is no danger from these newly falling satellites, either in orbit or on the ground."