Monday, 27 January, 2020

SpaceX Complete Static Fire Test Ahead of First Launch of 2020

SpaceX test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday at Cape Canaveral two days before a scheduled launch with 60 Starlink broadband relay stations SpaceX test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday at Cape Canaveral two days before a scheduled launch with 60 Starlink broadband relay stations
Noel Elliott | 08 January, 2020, 00:23

This is SpaceX's first launch of the year and the third Starlink launch to date.

SpaceX launched 60 more mini internet satellites late on January 6, this time testing a dark coating to appease stargazers. The company landed the first-stage booster (the vehicle's fourth flight and landing) on its Atlantic Ocean drone ship, but failed in its attempt to catch a payload fairing half (which costs roughly $3 million). With 180 satellites (plus two prototypes launched two years ago) now orbiting the planet, SpaceX operates the largest commercial satellite constellation. SpaceX's constellation was built to bring better internet to remote areas of the world, with service likely to start sometime this year. As the first-stage booster flew to a vertical landing on an ocean platform, the Starlink satellites continued hurtling toward orbit to join 120 similar spacecraft launched a year ago.

The launch was broadcast live by SpaceX, a company created by tycoon Elon Musk, who is also chief executive of Tesla.

Already established in launching satellites for others and making space station deliveries for NASA, SpaceX is among several companies looking to provide high-speed, reliable internet service around the world, especially in places where it's hard to get or too expensive. SpaceX launched its first group of 60 in May 2019 and additional 60 in November, to provide global internet access.

The planned total of 42,000 satellites would result in far more crowded skies, which has raised concerns among astronomers that they may threaten our view of the cosmos. OneWeb launched its first six satellites in 2019.

Hong Kong protesters clash with police inside shopping centre
The protest movement has since become quieter but sporadic clashes have persisted. In 2019, around 10 million people were lifted out of poverty, he said.

Ms Shotwell, SpaceX COO, told SpaceNews in December: "It definitely changes the performance of the satellite, thermally". One of the 60 spacecraft launched tonight was given the darkening treatment to see how the satellite's performance will be affected.

This latest swarm of 60 Starlink satellites have anti-reflective coatings in an effort to appease astronomers. SpaceX says it shares high-fidelity tracking data with other satellite operators to reduce the risk of collision.

According to the company, Starlink commercial internet services could debut in parts of the US and Canada after about half a dozen more launches, with global coverage after 24 launches.

"It'll be some trial and error but we'll fix it".

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