SpaceX begins launching V2 Mini Starlink satellites

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A Falcon 9 rocket launches a Starlink mission from Florida on Feb. 27, 2023.


Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the primary batch of its next-generation Starlink web satellites as the corporate upgrades and additional builds out its orbiting community.

A Falcon 9 rocket carried 21 of the satellites, often called “V2 Mini” satellites, into orbit on Monday. The satellites symbolize the primary iteration of Starlink’s “Gen2” plans, which the Federal Communications Commission licensed in December.

Musk shared a video of the V2 Mini satellites releasing from the rocket into orbit. While launches of the corporate’s first-generation fashions carried about 50 to 60 satellites at a time, the brand new spacecraft are bigger and heavier than earlier than, that means every Falcon 9 launch carries fewer satellites. The firm plans to ultimately use its Starship rocket, which is in improvement, for future second-generation Starlink missions.

The higher stage of a Falcon 9 rocket deploys a stack of Starlink “V2 Mini” satellites in orbit on Feb. 27, 2028.


Before the launch, SpaceX highlighted the improved capabilities of the V2 Minis, resembling “more powerful phased array antennas” and “new argon Hall thrusters” for maneuvering in orbit. The firm stated the V2 Mini satellites add about 4 instances as a lot community capability per satellite tv for pc in contrast with prior iterations.

Notably, Monday additionally represented the 100th consecutive event that SpaceX has efficiently tried and landed a Falcon 9 rocket booster after a launch — a streak relationship again to Feb. 16, 2021. The firm is conducting orbital rocket launches at an unprecedented price, with a mission about each 4 days on common in 2023.

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The firm has launched about 4,000 Starlink satellites so far, with its community reaching 1 million subscribers in December throughout a wide range of product choices — with providers for residential, enterprise, RV, maritime and aviation prospects.

Last week, SpaceX adjusted the pricing of its residential Starlink service primarily based on capability calls for.