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    This article is about the SpaceX satellite constellation. For other uses, see Starlink (disambiguation).


    60 Starlink satellites stacked together before deployment on 24 May 2019

    Manufacturer SpaceX

    Country of origin United States

    Operator SpaceX

    Applications Internet service

    Website starlink.com


    Spacecraft type Small satellite

    Launch mass v 0.9: 227 kg (500 lb)

    v 1.0: 260 kg (570 lb)

    v 1.5: ~295 kg (650 lb)[1]


    Ku-, Ka-, and E-band phased array antennas

    Laser transponders (some units)

    Hall-effect thrusters

    Regime Low Earth orbit

    Sun-synchronous orbit

    Production Status Active

    Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX.[2] It provides satellite Internet access coverage to 32 countries where its use has been licensed, and aims for global coverage.[3][4] As of May 2022 Starlink consists of over 2,200 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers.

    The SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond, Washington, houses the Starlink research, development, manufacturing, and orbit control teams. The cost of the decade-long project to design, build, and deploy the constellation was estimated by SpaceX in May 2018 to be at least US$10 billion.[5] In February 2017, documents indicated that SpaceX expects more than $30 billion in revenue by 2025 from its satellite constellation, while revenues from its launch business were expected to reach $5 billion in the same year.[6][7]

    On 15 October 2019, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) submitted filings to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on SpaceX's behalf to arrange spectrum for 30,000 additional Starlink satellites to supplement the 12,000 Starlink satellites already approved by the FCC.[8]

    Astronomers have raised concerns about the constellations' effect on ground-based astronomy and how the satellites will add to an already congested orbital environment.[9][10] SpaceX has attempted to mitigate astronomy concerns by implementing several upgrades to Starlink satellites aimed at reducing their brightness during operation.[11] The satellites are equipped with krypton-fueled Hall thrusters which allow them to de-orbit at the end of their life. Additionally, the satellites are designed to autonomously avoid collisions based on uplinked tracking data.[12]


    1 History 1.1 Background 1.2 Early 2000s 1.3 2015–2017 1.4 2018–2019 1.5 2020–2022 2 Launches

    2.1 Constellation design and status

    3 Availability by country

    4 Services 5 Technology

    5.1 Satellite hardware

    5.2 User terminals 5.3 Ground stations

    5.4 Satellite revisions

    5.4.1 MicroSat 5.4.2 Tintin 5.4.3 V0.9 (test)

    5.4.4 V1.0 (operational)

    5.4.5 V1.5 (operational)

    5.4.6 V2.0 (planned)

    6 Impact on astronomy

    7 Increased risk of satellite collision

    8 Military capabilities

    8.1 Military satellites

    8.2 Military user tests

    9 Competition and market effects

    10 United States federal funding issues

    11 Customer service

    12 Similar or competitive systems

    13 See also 14 References 15 External links



    Constellations of low Earth orbit satellites were first conceptualized in the mid-1980s as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative. These technologies led to numerous commercial megaconstellations using around 100 satellites that were planned in the 1990s such as Celestri, Teledesic, Iridium and Globalstar. However all entities entered bankruptcy by the dot-com bubble burst, due in part to excessive launch costs at the time.[13][14]

    Early 2000s[edit]

    In June 2004, the newly formed company SpaceX acquired a stake in Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) as part of a “shared strategic vision”.[15] SSTL was at that time working to extend the Internet into space.[16] However, SpaceX's stake was eventually sold back to EADS Astrium in 2008 after the company became more focused on navigation and Earth observation.[17]

    In early 2014, Elon Musk and Greg Wyler were reportedly working together planning a constellation of around 700 satellites called WorldVu, which would be over 10 times the size of the then largest Iridium satellite constellation.[18] However, these discussions broke down by June 2014, and Elon's company SpaceX instead stealthily filed an ITU application via the Norway telecom regulator under the name STEAM.[19] SpaceX confirmed the connection in the 2016 application to license Starlink with the FCC.[20]


    The SpaceX satellite development facility, Redmond, Washington, in use from 2015 to mid-2018.

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Starlink: SpaceX just lost 80 percent of its satellites — here's why

    A majority of SpaceX's recently launched internet connectivity satellites will burn up. Here's what that means for the project's future.



    The satellites are expected to burn up before they reach Earth’s orbit.

    Richard Gallagher / 500px/500px/Getty Images

    MIKE BROWN 2.9.2022 8:00 PM

    SPACEX’S STARLINK CONSTELLATION, an initiative that plans to provide satellite internet access across the planet, may take longer to build out than the company planned. On Tuesday, the space-faring firm acknowledged that up to 40 of the 49 satellites in its most recent launch won’t make their final destination. Instead of reaching low-Earth orbit, they’ll re-enter the atmosphere and burn up.

    According to SpaceX, the satellites got mixed up in a geomagnetic storm that caused the atmosphere to warm and increase its density. The resulting atmospheric drag, which was 50 percent higher than previous launches, pulled the satellites back to Earth.

    It’s a disappointing setback in SpaceX's plans for Starlink. The company is building out a mega-constellation in low-Earth orbit, using up to 42,000 satellites to offer high-speed and low latency internet access. The service advertises speeds of up to 500 megabits per second, and latencies as low as 20 milliseconds.

    Astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who tracks the constellation on his website, has found there are 1,915 Starlink satellites currently in orbit. In total, SpaceX has launched 2,091 satellites.

    Footage captured from Puerto Rico’s Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe shows space debris entering the atmosphere. Marco Langbreok, a consultant at Leiden University’s astronomy department, wrote on Twitter that he “can now say with some more certainty” that this is one of the Starlink satellites.

    Want to find out more about SpaceX’s plans for Starlink? Subscribe to MUSK READS+ for exclusive interviews and analysis about spaceflight, electric cars, and more.


    The satellites launched into space via a Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, February 3, at 1:13 p.m. Eastern time from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    Following the launch, the booster successfully landed on the drone ship, A Shortfall of Gravitas.

    Unfortunately, the satellites didn’t fare quite so well against the geomagnetic storm. The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration explains that these disturbances happen when solar winds transfer energy into the space around Earth.

    Due to the increase in atmospheric drag from the geomagnetic storms, SpaceX switched the satellites into a safe mode, allowing them to fly edge-on into the storm to avoid its worst effects.

    The company worked with Space Force’s 18th Control Squadron and LeoLabs to keep track of the satellites, but it was unable to save most of the satellites. The satellites will now burn up in the atmosphere, meaning no debris will crash down to Earth.

    SpaceX’s Starlink satellite dish on display.Tim Bieber/Stockbyte Unreleased/Getty Images

    SpaceX is expected to launch its next batch of Starlink satellites no earlier than February 20 from Space Launch Complex 40, located at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

    The company has big plans for its service and the revenue from it. Earlier this month, it announced a premium tier of the service aimed at businesses and other clients that demand more reliable service.

    Reliability won’t come cheap, however. Where the existing service costs $99 per month, the Premium tier costs $500 per month.





    Source : www.inverse.com

    How Elon Musk's SpaceX lost 40 Starlink satellites—worth $20M—all at once

    A solar storm knocked 40 out of 49 recently launched SpaceX satellites out of orbit and back into Earth's atmosphere.


    How Elon Musk’s SpaceX lost 40 Starlink satellites—reportedly worth as much as $20 million—all at once


    February 10, 2022 7:40 AM UTC

    Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.

    Elon Musk’s Starlink operation lost 40 out of 49 satellites it launched into the Earth’s upper atmosphere on Wednesday, as a geomagnetic storm knocked out the majority of the fleet. The loss, which could have cost Musk’s SpaceX as much as $20 million, is a setback for Musk’s revolutionary internet infrastructure plan and a blemish on SpaceX’s otherwise stellar record.

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    “Preliminary analysis show[s] the increased drag at the low altitudes prevented the satellites from leaving safe-mode to begin orbit raising maneuvers, and up to 40 of the satellites will reenter or already have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere,” SpaceX said in a statement Tuesday.

    The space tech company, which Musk founded 20 years ago, conducted the launch on Feb. 3, deploying 49 Starlink satellites into low earth orbit from a Falcon 9 rocket. But the next day, a geomagnetic storm—which occurs when charged particles kicked out from the Sun in a solar flare interact with the Earth’s atmosphere—forced engineers to abort the mission.

    “These storms cause the atmosphere to warm and atmospheric density at our low deployment altitudes to increase,” SpaceX said, explaining that the higher atmospheric density increased drag on the orbiting Starlink satellites, preventing them from moving to higher altitudes. Reuters reports the 40 lost modules mark the largest number of satellites knocked out by a single geomagnetic event ever.

    According to SpaceX, the company always deploys Starlink satellites at a low orbit first, before directing the modules to increase altitude. The two-stage deployment reduces the risk of dysfunctional satellites becoming space junk, which drifts around space. The approach makes it easier to identify faulty satellites and return them to Earth—so to speak.

    Never miss a story about space


    SpaceX says Starlink satellites are designed to break up and burn upon reentry to Earth’s lower atmosphere, so they never actually return to Earth. On Tuesday the company said “the deorbiting satellites pose zero collision risk with other satellites…and no satellite parts [will] hit the ground.”

    SpaceX doesn’t disclose the cost of its Starlink satellites, but some analysts have put the cost of each module between $250,000 and $500,000, meaning a fleet of 40 would cost $20 million at most. Meanwhile, SpaceX disclosed in 2020 that each Falcon 9 launch costs around $30 million, so in total, this abortive operation could have cost SpaceX around $50 million in sunk costs.

    SpaceX has already deployed 1,469 Starlink satellites into orbit and is targeting a grand total of 30,000. Together, they will form the infrastructure to back Musk’s plan of delivering high-speed internet to remote regions across the globe.

    SpaceX says its Starlink network is already serving 145,000 users across 25 countries, and the company is reportedly in talks to reconnect the island nation of Tonga to the internet, after a massive volcanic eruption last month severed the undersea cables connecting the Pacific islands to the World Wide Web.

    If successful, the Starlink network could revolutionize access to the internet, upending current systems of control that governments use to censor or block internet access. Although the Starlink network would be under SpaceX’s control instead and comes at a cost: roughly $99 per month for the end user.

    The company has already received blowback from astronomers and governments that are concerned about the growing flotilla of satellites Musk is positioning in space. This week, NASA delivered a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warning that Musk’s plan for 30,000 low-orbit satellites will increase the risk of Starlink modules colliding with other space vehicles.

    SpaceX previously said there is “zero risk” of a Starlink module colliding with a large spacecraft because of the former’s maneuverability. But last December, China complained to the UN that its new space station had to take evasive action twice to avoid a collision with Starlink satellites last year.

    And, as demonstrated by 40 out of 49 Starlink satellites falling from the sky, SpaceX doesn’t always have as much control over its modules as it would like.

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    Source : fortune.com

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