Earlier this week, Elon Musk showed a photo of the Falcon 9 rocket, loaded with dozens of compact Internet communication satellites project Starlink. 60 devices that will be launched on may 16 in low-earth orbit, is quite tightly located in the head part of the rocket. Today SpaceX has shared some details on how these satellites work.
Each satellite carrier panel includes multiple antennas with high bandwidth and one solar panel. Weight of each satellite is only 227 pounds. In other words, they are very light and compact. But despite its size and weight, the devices are equipped with the most advanced space technologies.
Each satellite delighted hall (electric motor) gas krypton. These engines are the satellites will be used for orientation in space and adjust the height of the orbit. In addition, each satellite equipped with a navigation system Startracker, which will allow SpaceX to know the exact location of each machine and steer them in the right place.
In earth orbit there is a lot of debris (remaining after launches of the missiles, not fallen and not burning up in the atmosphere, defunct satellites, a huge number of different micromotor), therefore there is a risk of collision. However, each satellite Starlink is able to track near-earth debris and, if necessary, to automatically change its orbit, thus avoiding the risk of collision.
Not to mention one very important detail. SpaceX approached very seriously to the question of the probability of occurrence of new space debris. Each satellite is 95 percent made of materials that will easily burn up in earth’s atmosphere after the spacecraft will fulfill your inherent resource. In the future, the company plans to produce satellites from 100% combustible materials.
Recall that the launch of the carrier rocket Falcon 9 with 60 satellites Starlink to be held early in the morning on may 16. However, the company has a reserve window the next day if the launch will have to be postponed because of bad weather (which often happens in practice SpaceX). Launch 60 satellites will initiate the establishment of a network of satellite Internet Starlink, which in total will consist of about 12,000 vehicles. The launch of all satellites, the company expects to hold until the mid 2020-ies.
The live broadcast of tomorrow’s launch can be viewed using the player below.
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