(The Gist of Science Reporter) SpaceX’s satellites to boost internet services [AUGUST-2019]
(The Gist of Science Reporter) SpaceX’s satellites to
boost internet services [AUGUST-2019]
SpaceX’s satellites to boost internet
SpaceX successfully launched the FALCON-9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink
satellites on 23 May 2019. This was the heaviest payload carried UP by
SpaceX till date.
The array of satellites were deployed at an altitude of 440 km which
then used onboard propulsion to reach an operational height of 550 km.
The main purpose of the mission is to provide reliable and affordable
high-speed broadband internet services around the globe.
The problem with the present internet beaming satellites in space is
their much higher altitudes i.e. geostationary orbits because of which
signals need to travel a longer distance from space and back leading to
delay in accessing information.
Therefore, to overcome the problem, SpaceX proposed the Starlink
satellites at much lower orbits to minimise this latency issue.
This was the first batch of satellites, thousands of such launches are
required to have moderate broadband coverage.
Once the mission is complete, the orbiting array of satellites will
provide high-speed and uninterrupted internet services to the whole planet.
The solar-powered small satellites weighing 500 pounds will communicate
with one another in the space via radio and optical links.
The user terminals from the ground will then be connected with the
network which can be installed anywhere with the view of the sky.
With these satellites passing overhead, web access should be persistent,
unlike the latency issues that are normal with conventional communication
Keeping in view the risk of in-flight collision and space debris, SpaceX
has equipped each spacecraft with a startracker navigation system same as
used in Cargo and Crew Dragon spacecraft developed by SpaceX.
The startracker system enables the SpaceX to point the satellites with
precision enabling the satellites to track on-orbit debris and autonomously
avoiding a collision.
Additionally, 95 per cent of all components of this design will rapidly
burn in the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of each satellite’s lifecycle.