Starlink Satellites Are Now Up and Running, Moving to Orbits

Starlink satellites up and running 1 photo
Photo: International Business Times
In the last days of May, SpaceX launched the first batch of 60 Starlink satellites to orbit and successfully deployed them to their assigned starting positions. Following several days of maneuvering, SpaceX announced on Friday (May 31) that all 60 satellites are up and running.
Meant to revolutionize Internet access in remote parts of the world, the Starlink constellation will eventually be made up of 12,000 units. These first sixty are part of a group that was sent up for testing purposes ahead of the official rollout.

SpaceX says that presently all the satellites are powered up, they have their solar arrays deployed and have communicated with ground stations. Most of the satellites are now en route to their final orbits.

“We continue to track the progress of the Starlink satellites during early orbit operations. At this point, all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations,” the space company said.

Last week, a Dutch astronomer caught the army of satellites on camera, showing them as very bright pearls in the night sky, marching in an orderly fashion over Europe. When the photos were published, astronomers expressed concerns that the shine of the satellites may cause issues for the telescopes here on Earth.

In the Friday update, SpaceX says “the observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance” and because their solar arrays are now oriented away from Earth.

Starlink is meant as a network of satellites that will allow Internet access in otherwise underserved parts of the world. Military applications for the network are also being researched.

There are talks of at least 17 launches planned, three of which scheduled by the end of this year, to get enough satellites in orbit so they could make a difference.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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