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.
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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.