For the first time in months, SpaceX Founder Elon Musk has spoken publicly regarding the planned rollout of Starlink 2.0. It was confirmed in a segment of the YouTube program “Everyday Astronaut” that the inaugural Starlink 2.0 satellite, which would be significantly bigger and much more capable than the earlier ones, has been created. Starlink 2.0 can only be launched into orbit with SpaceX’s mega-rocket, the Starship (depicted above).
SpaceX Has Currently 4000+ Satellites Under Its Belt
There are now more than 4,400 satellites operated by SpaceX, making them far and away from the world’s biggest provider. At far greater rates and reduced latency, it has been able to deliver satellite internet connectivity to large swaths of the world.
With a diameter of 22 feet (7 meters), it is the largest satellite ever built (2,755 pounds or 1,250 kg). The 573-pound satellite currently being carried by the Falcon 9 rocket is lightweight (260 kg). The company has been able to swiftly scale up the mega constellation and provide operations on the surface because of the simpler gen 1 architecture’s ability to deploy more than 60 of them on each, and every Falcon 9.
It’s not obvious whether any of the newest Starlink 2.0 versions would be included in SpaceX’s 12,000-satellite network. A year ago, Starship hadn’t taken to the skies for a space mission. Falcon 9 “does not have the size nor even the payload orbit capabilities necessary for Starlink 2.0,” as stated by Musk in a recent interview. It’s also said that the upcoming satellites would be “nearly an order of magnitude stronger” than the first generation of Starlink.
HLS Is Trivial for Future Ventures
A few of SpaceX’s planned goals are dependent on the success of the project. Musk’s vision of populating Mars hinges on the Human Landing System (HLS) that NASA would use for its forthcoming Artemis lunar missions. As the Starship project continues to lag, it’s no wonder that the timetable for that effort is continuously moving. It is currently anticipated that the FAA’s study of Starship’s ecological effect will be completed by the end of the year. Once that is done, SpaceX can begin manufacturing the launch as well as its Very Heavy first stage. This is all harder than it sounds, of course!
Spacecraft in orbit may be at higher risk from bigger Starlink 2.0 satellites than tiny ones, NASA has warned. Despite a series of near misses, the business reached an arrangement with NASA last year to potentially prevent that. Starlink’s reflecting satellites have also been criticized by scientists because they potentially interfere with sensitive orbital studies. The bigger mass of the newest satellites might make them considerably more harmful to astrophysics than the smaller ones, which were not mentioned by Musk.