Today, the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle with the next batch of Starlink communications satellites, consisting of 58 devices, and three Planet SkySat satellites designed to observe the Earth’s surface, successfully launched from the launch site at Cape Canaveral. The launch took place at 5:21 a.m. on the East Coast of the USA (12:21 Moscow time).
Thus, SpaceX, for the ninth time, successfully launched Starlink satellites into outer space. In addition, for the second time in June, the company successfully launches satellites, intending to achieve a record four launches by the end of the month. Since the weather was clear during the launch, SpaceX specialists were able to land the first stage of the launch vehicle on a special floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean without any problems. Previously, this stage has already been used twice for the delivery of goods to the International Space Station.
Recall that in the framework of the Starlink project, SpaceX plans to form a satellite network, which, as stated, will be able to provide broadband Internet access to all the inhabitants of the Earth. The project began to be implemented in 2018 and to date, 540 communication satellites have been launched into outer space. The company plans to create a network of thousands of Starlink satellites, so in the future the number of devices launched under this project will grow rapidly. According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, at least 800 communications satellites are required to be launched into space to provide moderate coverage of the US and Canada. In total, the number of satellites in the Starlink network will be about 12,000 units.
Planet, whose satellites were also launched into space today, became the first participant in the new SpaceX program for the joint launch of mini-satellites. After today’s success, Planet has booked for three more SkySat satellites in one of its future launches. As part of the next launch, which is due to take place this month, in addition to Starlink satellites, three Earth sounding devices from the American company BlackSky Global will go into outer space.
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