The SpaceX constellation is growing. This Saturday morning (13), the company launched 58 new Starlink satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket to increase its fleet that aims to provide internet connectivity here on Earth. This time, the SpaceX mission still gave “ride” to three Planet satellites, which are used to photograph our planet.
The launch brings the total number of Starlink operating satellites in orbit to 538. The Falcon 9 rocket launched the satellites and then returned to Earth, landing safely on the SpaceX ferry in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is worth remembering that Elon Musk’s company is allowed to launch around 12,000 satellites as part of the project.
The new launch is very significant because, in addition to getting closer and closer to its goal of bringing broadband service to the United States and Canada later this year, it also uploads updates to satellites that make them more friendly to astronomers .
Starlinkers have always been criticized by professionals in the field for affecting night sky observations due to their high light reflection. However, the satellites launched this Saturday have a kind of visor that blocks solar reflections on the surface of the Starlink.
Regarding the satellite internet service that will be provided by SpaceX thanks to Starlink, the company has opened a website for people to subscribe to receive “updates on news and availability of Starlink services in their area”. The company is expected to conduct private beta tests later this year.