“SpaceX has not launched a Starlink mission in a bit over two months, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in mid-August that the company paused Starlink satellite deployments because they are working on completing the first batches of next-generation satellites equipped with laser communication links. Now, SpaceX is ready to launch Starlink satellites with inter-satellite lasers. An entire fleet of next-generation satellites will be deployed on September 13th during the first Starlink mission launched from California. The mission is known as ‘Starlink Group 2-1’, it is the company’s 29th operational mission dedicated to building the Starlink constellation. On Monday at 8:55 p.m. PDT. a flight-proven Falcon 9 booster will carry 51 satellites to orbit from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
Starlink Group 2-1 will be the first mission to carry all satellites with lasers. “These are V1.5 Starlinks with laser inter-satellite links, which are needed for high latitudes & mid ocean coverage,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared. These lasers enable the satellite fleet to operate without the need to communicate with a ground station on Earth. Instead, the satellites will beam data to one another via the laser links which enables a much faster data transfer rate to users on the ground because light travels faster in the vacuum of space than through fiber-optic cables. “[…] Data packets do not need to touch regular Internet – data can flow from user terminal to satellite/s to user terminal [customer dish antenna],” Musk explains. Once the satellites are in their designated orbit, the set of satellites equipped with lasers could be operational within the next “4 to 6 months.”
The booster that will conduct this mission is identified as B1049-10, it will be the booster’s 10th re-flight. SpaceX engineers aim to reuse each rocket at least ten times to significantly decrease the cost of spaceflight. “The booster supporting this mission previously launched Telstar 18 VANTAGE, Iridium-8, and seven Starlink missions,” SpaceX said. The company plans to recover B1049-10 a tenth time, they will land it on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship, awaiting in the Pacific Ocean. A live broadcast video of this upcoming mission will be linked below, as soon as its available. ” tesmanian
Comment: Fusion power and the revolution in internet connectivity brought on by Musk. pl
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