Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

SpaceX ready for 60-satellite Starlink launch debut: third time’s the charm?

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


SpaceX is approximately two hours away from its third Starlink v0.9 launch attempt, an ambitious batch of 60 satellites that will also be the company’s heaviest payload ever.

As hinted at by the name “Starlink v0.9”, these sixty satellites are not quite the final design. More a beta test at an unprecedented scale, several critical new technologies and strategies will be put to the test on this launch, ranging from a seriously unorthodox satellite deployment method to the near-final krypton-fueled electric thrusters. Same as SpaceX’s May 15th and 16th launch attempts, Starlink v0.9’s third try has a 90-minute window that opens at 10:30 pm EDT (02:30 UTC), this time on Thursday, May 23rd.

Third try’s the charm

May 23rd’s Starlink v0.9 launch attempt will be the mission’s third, preceded by May 15th – scrubbed by high-altitude wind shear – and May 16th, cancelled before fueling began in order to troubleshoot and update the software aboard the 60 Starlink satellites. After a week of concerted effort from SpaceX technicians and software developers, those issues have been more or less dealt with and the first batch of Starlink satellites are once again ready for orbit.

The second phase of Starlink testing – 60 advanced satellites – in a single fairing. (SpaceX)

According to SpaceX, the massive payload of 60 flat-packed Starlink satellites weighs approximately 18.5 tons (16,800-18,500 kg, unclear if short or metric tons). Either way, it will easily break SpaceX’s previous record – likely Crew Dragon’s DM-1 debut – and become the heaviest payload the company has ever attempted to launch. Despite the sheer size and mass of the payload, Falcon 9 booster B1049 – launching for the third time – will still be able to land aboard drone ship Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) some eight minutes after launch.

If the recovery goes well, B1049 will become the third SpaceX booster to successfully complete three orbital-class launches and landings, paving the way for a series of fourth flights (and beyond) later this year.

Cubesats, meet Flatsats

Aside from the mission’s impressive rocket performance requirements, Starlink v0.9 will also serve as a huge beta test of a dozen or more new technologies. The most visible of those has to be each satellite’s truly unique flat, rectangular form factor, as well as SpaceX’s use of flat-packing in place of a dedicated structure for holding and dispensing the satellites. It’s unclear if there is some additional reinforcement or if the satellites themselves provide all of the stack’s strength. If the latter is true, the satellites at the bottom must survive massive forces – ranging from ~7000 kg at rest to 35,000+ kg at the end of Falcon 9’s second stage burn.

Aside from their exotic structure, each Starlink satellite also carries a single-panel ~3 kW solar array using one of two experimental deployment mechanisms. Each satellite’s main propulsion comes from an unknown number of Hall Effect thrusters (i.e. electric/ion thrusters) fueled by krypton instead of the usual xenon. SpaceX’s internally-developed krypton thrusters are the only known examples to have been tested in orbit.

Aside from thrusters, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also believes that the company’s space-based phased array antennas – also developed in-house – are more advanced than any operational competitor on Earth. Musk also revealed that SpaceX would attempt to use a bizarre and largely untested method of satellite deployment, spinning Falcon 9’s upper stage and releasing the satellites with inertia instead of traditional springs or pushrods.

Regardless of whether everything works as planned, the launch is going to be a spectacular one and the webcast may even include views of the bizarre satellite deployment. Catch SpaceX’s live coverage of the mission – likely to include new details about the Starlink constellation – at the link below. Coverage will begin ~15 minutes prior to liftoff.

Check out Teslarati’s newsletters for prompt updates, on-the-ground perspectives, and unique glimpses of SpaceX’s rocket launch and recovery processes

The post SpaceX ready for 60-satellite Starlink launch debut: third time’s the charm? appeared first on TESLARATI.



Source: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-60-satellite-starlink-launch-third-try/


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST


Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse
Loading...

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.