SpaceX has successfully launched 2nd batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites via Falcon 9 rocket on Monday 11 November, 2019 after three month launch hiatus. The company arranged a static-fire test at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida USA on 5 November, 2019. First batch was launched in May 2019 and some difficulties were observed in operating devices but company has advanced their software. The Falcon 9 rocket on its 4th booster launch payload second batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites to space and it is record-breaking launch of reusability.
SpaceX has planned to add 2000 more satellites in orbit and gears up internet access to US by the middle of 2020 calls “moderate coverage” claimed by Elon Musk, CEO SpaceX. Starlink satellites are designed to provide cheap but superfast broadband internet service from low Earth orbit. Company has further plan to expand wireless internet to cover other parts of the earth.
SpaceX is competing with other commercial companies in large satellite constellation but leading them with unparalleled rocket reusability. Amazon, Telesat and OneWeb also have announced to launch similar mega-constellations. However Astronomers have raised their concerns on Elon’s plan to launch 25,000 satellites in orbit. They are worried about growth of Starlink that could interfere with ground-based observations (high reflectivity) and chances of collision with other satellites. According to European Space Agency, there are 5,000 satellites in space, 1,950 of which are still functioning. These have contributed 34000 objects of more than 10 cm size. Many articles have been published on space debris. Sustainable development in space sciences in vital as no regulations in place to protect the skies against space debris and light pollution.