SpaceX was set to launch the next constellation of Starlink satellites on Monday 20 January 2020 as part of Musk’s plan to provide a global broadband Internet network. Here’s why the mission was postponed.
The Starlink mission had to be postponed due to rough weather conditions. If all goes according to plan, SpaceX expects a turnaround time of less than 24 hours. SpaceX confirmed:
“Static fire of Falcon 9 complete ahead of launching 60 Starlink satellites. Due to extreme weather in the recovery area, team is evaluating best launch opportunity”.
Update: 24 January 2020 – SpaceX confirmed on Friday 24 January that the launch of the next batch of Starlink satellites would be postponed for a second time due to poor weather conditions.
The launch was originally moved from 21 January to 24 January while the SpaceX and NASA teams were monitoring weather conditions in the recovery area. SpaceX said on Friday:
“Weather in the recovery area continues to be [unfavourable] so team is now targeting Monday, January 27 for launch of Starlink, pending Range availability.”
What is Starlink?
SpaceX is planning as many as 35 Starlink launches throughout this year; including flights to carry new a broadband satellite into orbit which will eventually provide global internet coverage.
The Starlink constellation will eventually comprise of 12 000 or so Starlink satellites orbiting the earth, and SpaceX has already applied to increase the number by a further 35 000.
Starlink works, so far
Musk, who is not one to hide his excitement about the cool things his company can do, tweeted in October 2019 that he was trying to post a message using the Starlink satellites.
Minutes later, he added: “Whoa, it worked!!” Musk had posted the message on Twitter while connected to the Starlink constellation. It connected successfully, despite SpaceX only having deployed a fraction of the satellites.
The company’s previous mission launches were carried out with the thrice-flown Falcon 9 booster, which came to the end of its short life on Sunday 19 January.
Starlink and Falcon 9 Booster B1046
SpaceX had to deliberately destroy the Falcon 9 Booster B1046 during the in-flight abort (IFA) tests of the Crew Dragon capsule ahead of it’s launch to the International Space Station (ISS.)
The IFA tests were controlled and no one was hurt; the destruction of the booster was unavoidable as the team had to ensure that the future models of the Falcon 9 would be capable of taking astronauts ISS.
SpaceX is currently the operator of the world’s largest active satellite constellation; there are currently 180 Starlink satellites orbiting this here planet we call home.
Starlink space junk
The fact that SpaceX is planning the launch at least 42 000 additional satellites over the next decade is a cause of concern to astronomers and scientists.
Speaking to Sky & Telescope back in June 2019, senior space debris mitigation analyst Stijn Lemmens, said that the Starlink space debris could interact with other objects and cause collisions.
At the time, the Starlink mission only included the launch of 12 000 satellites. Lemmens warned that the “space debris issue is mostly caused by the fact we leave objects behind in orbit”, and added:
“Currently, most space debris comes from explosive break-up events; in the future, we predict collisions will be the driver. It’s like a cascade event: Once you have one collision, other satellites are at risk for further collisions.”
In other news – So sweet! Ben 10 Vusi blesses his bae, Zodwa Wabantu with Red roses (Watch)
Vusi and Zodwa Wabantu are truly cute #couplegoals. Love is kept burning through such kind of doings, like spoiling your partner, etc.
Zodwa Wabantu and Vusi are not turning back on what they feel about each other and they are not shy at all to show off their glowing love. Recently, Zodwa receives a good and romantic treat from her Ben 10, Vusi Buthelezi. continue reading
Source: The South African