(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 services

  • 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 satellites.
  • 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.

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Courtesy: Science Reporter