Spacex’s Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force station. The rocket landed on the company’s drone ship shortly after launch.
Spacex is set to launch its third batch of 60 starlink satellites into orbit. The company will beam Internet connectivity to the earth below.
One of the satellites on board this launch will be slightly different than the other 59. Spacex is taking this step to counteract concerns voiced by the astronomy community.
Spacex’s starlink satellites are bright – even more so than the average satellite. The company launched its first batch in May 2019.
Spacex currently has permission from the Federal Communications Commission to launch nearly 12,000 satellites. The company recently requested access to launch an additional batch of 30,000 satellites.
This one coated satellite is just an experiment, and there’s no guarantee that it’ll be enough to darken the starlink satellite. Spacex may be able to lessen the effects of the starlink constellation and help preserve astronomers’ view of the universe.
Spacex is in a race against itself to launch half of its first 12,000 satellites by 2024. The company already has plans to launch two other missions, with 60 satellites apiece, within the next month.
This mission will be the rocket’s fourth trip to space, a rare feat for one of SpaceX’s vehicles. Spacex has yet to fly a single rocket to space five times.
Launch is being overseen by the Air Force’s 45th space wing. This will be the organization’s first launch under the newly minted us space force.