The SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle launched into low Earth Orbit the first 54 Starlink Satellites of the new generation, or v2.0 or Gen2. The SpaceX Falcon 9 was launched on 28th December 2022, and it took place from the SLC-40 launch pad of the US Air Force Base at Cape Canaveral. It is the 60th successful SpaceX mission since the beginning of 2022.
SpaceX Launched First 54 Starlink v2.0 satellites Into Low Earth orbit – Key Points
- Starlink v2.0 satellites have several different configurations depending on the launch vehicle.
- It was assumed that the new satellites would be launched by Starship initially.
- Hence, the size and mass should be several times larger than those of previous versions- 2000 kg against 260 and 295 kg in versions 1.0 and 1.5.
- However, SpaceX’s super-heavy rocket is a bit delayed, and now, Starlink v2.0 is carried by the good old Falcon 9.
- The mass of such satellites is 303 kg, and the dimensions are almost the same as in v.15.
- The main difference of Starlink v2.0 is a larger antenna and increased bandwidth of each satellite.
- The v1.5 devices have a laser communication system between satellites and can communicate directly with ordinary mobile terminals.
- SpaceX currently has 3,604 operational Starlink Satellites in orbit.
- The planned total number of satellites reaches 12,000 with the possibility of further expansion to 42,000.