Starlink Satellites to Complete First Orbital Shell By Year End
More than 1700 SpaceX Starlink Satellites in space with Starlink 29 launch

Space Starlink 29 launch is scheduled to be launched on May 26, 2:59 PM EDT. It is a 60 fleet of satellites. Which will add to the current 1666 satellites currently operating in space. Additionally, the Starlink Satellites will complete the broadband constellation’s first orbital shell.

SpaceX launches first 60 Starlink satellites into orbit
Image credits- Consumers Affair

Breaking own records

SpaceX has concurred space news with its launched this year. Most of the launches are Starlink launches, where around 50-60 fleet Starlink satellites are being sent with each launch. The first Starlink fleet was sent in 2018. Finally, in 2021, the satellites are going to be finished with their broadband constellation’s first orbit shell.

As SpaceX Starlink initially plans to launch 4, 408 satellites in their phase 1. Further, the satellites will increase to phase 2 and so on. More than 1600 satellites were launched into space. But around 10 or more satellites were lost or not working, which are part of the earliest launches.

Furthermore, SpaceX is set to launch Starlink 29 on May 26th, 2021 at 2:59 PM EDT from Florida. Interestingly, it isn’t just with the launch the constellation orbit shell will be complete. But when the satellites are powered on their own with power from thrusters and solar panels and move to the broadband constellation. Once the satellites connect with the other existing ones, it starts providing services to customers as planned.

The phase 1 plan

As planned in 2015, the Starlinks constellation is to have 12,000 satellites. As SpaceX first launched Starlink Satellites in 2018, there was a delay later. Other than focusing on developing a booster for a reusable rocket, the company has been focusing on developing a cheaper router set-up.

Phase 1 has different stages known as the shell. These are mentioned below,

  • Shell 1- 1,440 Satellites, 550 km (340 mi), 53.0° inclination
  •  Shell 2- 1,440 Satellites, 540 km (340 mi), 53.2° inclination
  • Shell 3- 720 Satellites, 570 km (350 mi), 70° inclination
  • Shell 4- 336 Satellites, 560 km (350 mi), 97.6°
  • Shell 5- 172 satellites, 560 km (350 mi), 97.6°

Each fleet has around 60 satellites. Furthermore, Starlink recently aligned with Google’s cloud and Microsoft Azure for on-ground networking services to provide for Starlink’s customers.

Image credits- Business Insider

Successful launches

On May 5th, Spaceflight Now tweeted celebrating 100 launches of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy without a mission failure. It was the launch on Starwars Day, Starlink 25.

On the occasion of 100 successful launches, SpaceX president and chief officer, Gwynne Shotwell said, “We do have global reach but we don’t have full connectivity globally. We hope after about 28 launches, we’ll have continuous coverage throughout the globe. And then the plan after that is to continue to add satellites to provide additional capacity.”

As per FCC regulations, SpaceX has permission to launch 7,000 satellites.