This is the first of many scheduled runs Starlink – a private spacecraft SpaceX, whose main task – to create a complete coverage of the Earth with the Internet. In the first run, mostly experimental, have 60 machines of the first generation.
Earlier, the head of SpaceX Elon Musk has stated that this is one of the most complex engineering projects in which he participated. The project not only needs to provide communication to residents of the territories where it is not, but also will promote competition where there is a connection.
Start was in normal mode, this means that everything is normal. The first stage version of the Block 5 successfully returned to the floating platform Of Course I Still Love You, which is located at a distance of 610 kilometres from offshore.
The first stage made a successful landing on floating platform // Screenshot
Stack system Starlink satellites in outer space // Screenshot
Full mission time is 1:00. The Falcon 9 launched at 5:30 in Kiev.
Each satellite project Starlink weighs 227 pounds, so the total payload of the Falcon 9 rocket will be 13 620 kilograms. This is a record weight for the rocket, the Falcon 9 earlier downloaded so have not yet flown. The devices will be deployed about an hour after reaching the low earth orbit, which height of 440 kilometers. After this, the satellites use their own ion engines to ascend to orbit before the planned 550 km.
Musk noted that the limited system will be able to earn after 7 starts. Almost full stable coating will be provided after 12 starts. Accordingly, this will require 420 and 720 devices.
If the Starlink project unfold according to plan, SpaceX will launch 12,000 satellites. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide cheap Internet access to people from all over the world.
Watch the video of rocket launch SpaceX Falcon 9 with the mission of Starlink-1:
Last year, SpaceX has already launched two prototype satellites. Today, orbit will display the system from fully working machines to be used in the future to build a network Starlink.
The main purpose of this launch is to test in practice the deployment and communication between satellites. By the way, the laser communication system between vehicles, and it is a key in the project at this stage.
Looks like the satellite system Starlink is loaded in a fairing of the Falcon 9 rocket