Earlier this week, Ilon Musk showed a photoFalcon 9 rockets, loaded with several dozen Starlink compact Internet communications satellites. 60 vehicles, which will be launched on May 16 into a low near-earth orbit, are quite densely located in the head part of the launch vehicle. Today SpaceX shared some details about how these satellites will work.
Each satellite carrier panel containsseveral high bandwidth antennas and one solar panel. The weight of each satellite is only 227 kilograms. In other words, they are very light and compact. But despite its size and weight, the devices are equipped with the most advanced space technology.
Each satellite is pleased with the Hall(electric motor), gas-powered krypton. These engines will use satellites for orientation in space, as well as adjusting the height of the orbit. In addition, each satellite is equipped with Startracker navigation system, which will allow SpaceX to know the exact location of each device and direct them to the desired point in space.
There is a lot in Earth orbitspace debris (parts of the missiles left after launching that did not fall and did not burn in the atmosphere, non-functioning satellites, a huge amount of various micro-dust), therefore there is a risk of collision. However, each Starlink satellite is able to track near-earth debris and, if necessary, automatically change its orbit, thereby avoiding the likelihood of a collision.
It is necessary to note one more very important detail. SpaceX came up very responsibly to the question of the likelihood of new space debris. Each satellite is 95 percent made of materials that will burn without problems in the earth’s atmosphere of the planet after the devices have completed their inherent resources. In the future, the company intends to produce satellites from 100 percent combustible materials.
Recall that the launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle with60 Starlink satellites to be held early in the morning on May 16th. However, the company has a backup window the next day, in case the launch has to be postponed due to bad weather (which was often the case in the SpaceX practice). The launch of 60 satellites will mark the beginning of the creation of the Starlink satellite Internet network, which in total will comprise about 12,000 devices. The company expects to launch all satellites until the mid-2020s.
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