SpaceX launches first 60 Starlink satellites into orbit

SpaceX Starlink satellites create a celestial dot-to-dot

This video shows a spectacular view of the SpaceX Starlink satellite train

SpaceX's Starlink mission is aimed at providing reliable and affordable broadband internet services from space through its next-generation network of Starlink satellites.

Each Starlink satellite, with a flat-panel design featuring high-throughput antennas and a single solar array, weighs approximately 227kg.

Musk, responding to a tweet asking if later batches of launched Starlink satellites could reflect less light downward, also tweeted Sunday that he had sent a note to the Starlink team the previous week, asking about reducing the reflectivity.

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SpaceX launches a rocket containing the first 60 satellites of its "Starlink" constellation, which is meant to provide internet from space and could one day number 12,000 satellites.

The satellites then used onboard Hall thrusters to reach their respective positions in a relatively low orbit 340 miles (550 km) above.

The company plans to use the revenue from the Starlink endeavor to fund some of its other ambitions of setting up a lunar base and going to Mars. Instead of using a single large satellite to deliver internet and suffering from limited coverage, SpaceX Starlink satellites will separate the load between 12,000 smaller satellites which form a blanket some 350km above the Earth surface. One, Alex Parker, suggested that there could eventually be more Starlink satellites visible to the naked eye than stars. SpaceX says, "Starlink satellites are equipped with one solar array instead of two, minimizing potential points of failure".

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In April, when India tested long-range missiles for Mission Shakti, NASA criticised the country for creating more space debris in the atmosphere. The concerns are centred around the potential light pollution caused by the orbiting satellites and what effect it might have on ground-based astronomy. However, Musk took to Twitter to put those rumours to bed.

"Potentially helping billions of economically disadvantaged people is the greater good", Musk continued. Astronomers, he suggested, could simply move their telescopes into space if they had a problem seeing. For now, Starlink is only authorized for US operations. AAP in Delhi has also been juggling different models of hi-speed Wi-Fi.

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