After a month’s rest, SpaceX will resume satellite launch in August


According to Tencent technology news on July 28, SpaceX, a US space exploration technology company, did not carry out any launch activities throughout July. However, according to informed sources, the company plans to resume the launch of star chain Internet satellites in August, launch Falcon 9 rockets from California and Florida respectively, and start deploying star chain satellites to new orbits.
Many sources said that SpaceX is preparing for at least two satellite chain launches next month. First, it is launched by Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg space force base in California no earlier than August 10. The second launch is scheduled to take place in Cape Canaveral in mid August to put the satellite chain into orbit.
This will be SpaceX’s first launch since June 30. In the company’s full launch schedule, this is an unusually long interval. SpaceX launched 20 Falcon 9 rockets in the first half of this year, mainly for the company to deploy star chain satellites. The last time Falcon 9 rocket launched the satellite chain was on May 26.
The analysis of Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, shows that since then, SpaceX has activated hundreds of star chain satellites previously sent to orbit, increasing the number of satellites in operation from about 950 to more than 1300. More than 200 other chain satellites are drifting into orbit 341 miles (550 kilometers) from the earth and entering their operating positions at an inclination of 53 degrees from the equator.
SpaceX has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and will eventually launch and operate up to 12000 Internet relay satellites. The early stage of SpaceX’s satellite chain Internet involved the launch of 4408 satellites into five “orbital shells” or orbital layers in low earth orbit.
So far, SpaceX has launched a total of 1740 satellite chain satellites, including retired prototype satellites, more than the sum of all other commercial satellites. Most satellites were launched into a 53 degree inclined orbit, the first of the five “orbital shells” that the company plans to complete the full deployment of the satellite network.
With this “orbital shell” about to deploy more than 1500 active satellites, SpaceX is transitioning to a new stage of the star chain program. The completion of the first “orbital shell” will enable the network to provide high-speed and low latency Internet services to lower latitudes such as the southern United States. The partial deployment of the satellite into the orbital shell initially provided services covering the United States, Canada, northern Europe and high latitudes in the southern hemisphere.
SpaceX is currently providing temporary Internet services through satellite links to consumers registered with test programs in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, France, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The “star chain 2-1” mission, which will be launched from Vandenberg next month, will begin to fill the new orbital shell. SpaceX’s application is associated with the FCC and the telemetry link of the star chain launch vehicle launched from Vandenberg. The application shows that SpaceX’s booster landing platform (i.e. unmanned ship) will be deployed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of lower California. The position of the unmanned ship shows that the launch target is an orbit inclined by 70 degrees.
A similar application to launch the satellite chain satellite at Cape Canaveral next month shows that the SpaceX unmanned recovery ship will be parked in the Atlantic Ocean, consistent with the rocket trajectory tilted 53.2 degrees. After the launch in mid August, there will be more satellite chain launch missions. SpaceX is expected to launch a satellite chain mission from Vandenberg on average once a month next year, and the satellite chain launch from Cape Canaveral will maintain a specific rhythm.
SpaceX has not disclosed what design changes it plans to introduce into the new satellite chain, which is manufactured on the assembly line of its Redmond facility in Washington. Each Falcon 9 rocket can carry 60 first generation satellites into orbit in each mission, but it is unclear whether this number will change in future flights.
In January this year, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said that the company would introduce laser inter satellite links for all satellite chain satellites from 2022. He wrote on twitter that the satellite chain satellites entering polar orbit this year will be upgraded. SpaceX launched 10 chain satellites in January and entered a polar orbit of 97.6 degrees. Last month, three other satellite chains were launched into similar orbits during a carpool mission.
These satellites feature laser inter satellite links, which enable satellites to transfer data and Internet traffic between each other without routing through ground stations. This upgrade will allow SpaceX to provide Internet connectivity near the poles and other areas without ground stations´╝ł Tencent Technology (reviser / Jinlu)