Starlink 2.0: Elon Musk Reveals Next Generation Starlink:- When compared with the old brands, the newborn Starlink has launched the largest number of satellites in orbit to date. Elon Musk wants to do more, even though the company has more than 30 successful missions and over 1700 active satellites.
SpaceX is about to ship the next generation, gen 2 Starlink satellites into orbit, as Elon Musk hopes to build this mega constellation network that will have over 42,000 futuristic satellites. The two main versions, 0.9 and 1.0 Starlink satellites have already launched and are currently in low earth orbit. But now, for the first time, the company has launched the first constellations of their brand new 1.5 version, equipped with laser communication.
Elon Musk has confirmed more changes and upgrades in the time coming and in today’s video, we will explore what these improvements mean for the upcoming versions 1.5 and 2.0! Whether you live in a big city or in the countryside, access to fast and dependable internet will benefit your quality of life.
With Starlink, Musk wants to provide lower-cost internet than existing providers with no long-term agreements required. He added that the launch of this new business will not jeopardize SpaceX’s plans to fly people to Mars in the next decade. However, critics argue that this is just another distraction from their main goals.
Others believe it can be done because we already have similar systems in place to help control the International Space Station and its associated satellites, which currently orbit Earth, so why can’t we build one to provide internet too?
Many people are confident that Elon Musk’s plan for global broadband internet will be successful, given his track record for amazing accomplishments such as SpaceX and Tesla. These satellites would be able to provide gigabit speeds around the world.
In addition to these connections, the Earth-based stations that will serve as ground hubs for this satellite constellation could also have 5G antennas that receive data from other satellites in low-Earth orbit who are trying to run a global 5G network with a massive number of cell phone towers around the world.
We’re used to the fact that about once every two weeks, SpaceX sends another batch of 60 Starlink satellites into space. That you can turn on YouTube and watch the broadcast of another successful start. But from late June to mid-September, only one Falcon 9 was launched, loaded with communications satellites.
To reach targets, SpaceX must perform at least 4 launches per month. Otherwise, the grouping of 12,000 will remain on paper. SpaceX engineers decided it was time to complete the first phase and move on to the second. It was originally planned that within the framework of “Phase 1,” 12,000 satellites would appear in orbit. But plans had to be changed.
As of September 14, 2021, exactly 1,800 spacecraft were put into low-earth orbit under the Starlink program. Of these, 1673 are in working order. And 1420 are officially listed as part of the group. The rest are in the process of entering a working orbit.
This amount was sufficient to cover almost the entire surface of the Earth. The exception is the polar caps. In the last package in September, SpaceX sent a batch of satellites, the orbits of which will fully cover the Arctic and Antarctic. Theoretically, the entire Earth is now covered.
Still, the system does not work stably on the polar caps – there are few satellites. Although even this turned out to be quite enough for polar explorers. It looks like Elon Musk decided to change everything. A new launch vehicle should deliver the next batch of Starlink satellites.
The same Starship that he blew up so beautifully during tests. And the satellites themselves will be new. They will have opportunities that Musk did not even tweet about before. Of course, a new terminal is being prepared for users. One Starlink satellite of the current v 1.0 model weighs 260 kg.
Full package of 60 spacecraft – 15 600 kg. These parameters were not chosen by chance. They match exactly the full payload of the Falcon 9 v1.2 Full Thrust rocket in a barge-style first stage configuration. The cost of one launch is about $ 50 million. That is, the launch of one Starlink satellite into orbit costs (according to an overestimate) $ 833,333.
The payload capacity of the Starship heavy launch vehicle is 100-150 tons in a reusable configuration. It turns out that from 384 to 576 Starlink satellites can be put into orbit in one launch. Those calculations were confirmed by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell when she announced that the company would be able to launch 400 satellites into orbit in a single launch.
“SpaceX can use its powerful Starship launch vehicle, a next-generation heavy rocket that can bring more satellites into orbit at a time and position them to facilitate faster activation.”
The new rocket will solve several difficult problems at once. Each of them was considered insurmountable by skeptics when they predicted the failure of the Starlink program. The closer the cosmodrome is to the equator, the less fuel is required for the rocket to launch.
Therefore, Russia uses Baikonur, France uses Kura (in Guiana), and SpaceX uses the John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The only problem is the weather. In the equatorial zone, it is not particularly stable.
SpaceX has to take into account the state of the atmosphere in two places at once – the start and landing of the first stage. If the forecast is bad in at least one of them, the start is postponed. The minimum transfer period is 5 days.
To create the claimed constellation of 12,000 spacecraft, SpaceX would have to launch a Falcon 9 every 5-6 days for three years. That is, use almost all possible start windows. And any transfer pushed back the finish line by at least 1 week. And this marathon would have no end.
After all, when the last satellites joined the grouping, the first would have already expired their planned operation. Therefore, Elon Musk’s statements about 12,000 and about 40,000 spacecraft previously seemed too risky.
But suppose SpaceX has a launch vehicle capable of immediately delivering 400 vehicles to a working orbit. In that case, this will radically change the situation. In this case, to complete the second phase (12,000 satellites), it will take “only” 28 launches. Sounds pretty realistic.
The second problem is entering the working orbit. It is not enough just to deliver spacecraft to a given altitude. Each of them still has to take its place in the “chain” of the grouping. Therefore, in September 2021, out of 1800 launched Starlink satellites, only 1420 are fully operational.
About 253 more devices only “get to the place of work.” This process can take up to several months. At the end of the year, it is customary to make forecasts for the future. Although the last 2 years have shown us that the development of the market can be influenced by factors that were difficult to predict earlier, nevertheless, based on today’s data, we can already talk about certain trends.
And the main problem is that the amount of fuel onboard the satellite is limited. The devices are equipped with low-power electrostatic motors operating on the Hall effect. To create thrust, they need a working fluid – krypton gas. The satellite cannot use up the entire supply.
He must have an “emergency reserve” in order to be able to avoid collisions with another body in orbit. And the satellite also needs “pension savings” – a fuel supply for de-orbiting. When the reserves of krypton reach a critical value, the engines send the satellite into the atmosphere for combustion.
So that it does not remain in orbit and turn into dangerous (for other spacecraft) debris. Starlink satellite has an expected lifespan of 8 years in v.1.0 configuration. This is ideal if you don’t have to maneuver a lot. And you don’t have to spend a lot of fuel to get to your “workplace.” Starship can dramatically increase the expected life of each satellite.
Falcon 9 now delivers a package of 60 vehicles to one point. And then they disperse themselves. A starship is a reusable spacecraft. Initially, SpaceX had to pay approximately $ 3000 to produce one set of equipment. But the company sold these Plates on a Stick to end-users for only $ 499.
No surprise – for the first time in history, consumer electronics have been equipped with phased array antennas. No one has ever applied this technology to terminals manufactured in tens of thousands. SpaceX engineers have once again proved that it is not in vain that they receive their salaries.
They managed to reduce the cost, first to $ 1,500 and then to $ 1,300. So far, it is even higher than the selling price. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell believes that by the end of 2021, the company will be able to cut its production costs by half.
There are hundreds of satellites in Starlink that may provide internet access. Elon Musk believes that their job is to address the bandwidth shortage problem for future generations. He went on to say that StarLink had built an antenna with a diameter of 10 meters – enough to cover the whole globe.
Because this technology will assist mankind in exploring new locations and space, Musk labeled it “not just any old space program.” SpaceX’s business model may also be affected by Google’s move toward launching its own low orbit internet satellites model.
This new technology would allow users to have constant internet coverage without interruption from existing communications networks. After the devastation of Hurricane Maria, which destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure, a similar solution was used in Puerto Rico to overcome difficulties in communicating between individuals and government authorities.
The two megabits per second download rates enabled real-time information sharing between people and organizations, allowing for rapid recovery efforts. There may be a clear winner in the satellite internet market.
Still, these companies would have to compete against existing wired and wireless broadband technologies continually improving and expanding. High-speed internet access has become essential for organizations, schools, hospitals, and other institutions to operate effectively.
Companies like Facebook have provided their own free wifi services in areas with no connectivity to traditional data networks by utilizing drones or satellites. Google has also tested balloons and invested in fiber-optic cables along Asia’s coastlines, previously neglected nations.
This new infrastructure will present a problem for low orbit internet satellites to exist independently of conventional methods in many regions of the globe. Can you imagine a world where every person could access the internet from any spot on Earth?
How do you think that would change the way we live? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading till the end. Comment what’s your opinion about Starlink 2.0
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Information Source: Elon Musk Live