All Starlink Satellites Powered And Contacted Ground Stations – ZMR News Blog

All Starlink Satellites Powered And Contacted Ground Stations

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SpaceX said on Friday that all 60 of its satellites launched for Starlink broadband mega-constellation 8 days ago have powered up and also contacted ground stations. This constellation marks the first one ever for SpaceX with plans of increasing the number to 12,000 someday. All satellites have deployed solar arrays, with most of them undergoing process of climbing to 550-km target orbits from 440-km drop-off points, said a spokesperson for SpaceX yesterday. He added that the company is continuously monitoring the mega-constellation to check for any satellites which may have to be deorbited safely.

All satellites possess maneuvering capabilities and have been programmed to avoid other objects and each other while by wide margins while in orbit. Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, warned that Starlink satellites carry significant amounts of new technologies, such as advanced phased array antennas for communication and electric propulsion thrusters running on krypton and not usual xenon, and hence are at risks of not working according to plans once launched. He, however, added that his company hopes to achieve success as the designs are great and everything required for ensuring maximum probability of success have been done. The SpaceX spokesperson further said that Starlink satellites will lose visibility increasingly as they finish orbit increasing, which can take 3-4 weeks.

Easy visibility of first 60 Starlink satellites triggered concern post launch amongst astronomers and stargazers that they would be extremely prominent and easy to spot in the sky, especially when numbered in hundreds and thousands. On May27, Elon Musk posted on Twitter saying that an inquiry with Starlink team had been conducted by him regarding albedo reduction for satellites. His company would be able to better understand the satellites’ reflectiveness once orbit increasing is over and satellites are tracking with Sun, Musk said. He added that SpaceX will ensure no material effect on astronomical discoveries by Starlink satellites.

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