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Starlink 1008

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 2019-074B

Description

Starlink is SpaceX's 12000-satellite low earth orbit constellation to provide broadband Internet access.

The mass-produced spacecraft carry a communications payload using the Ku and Ka frequency bands. The satellites will employ optical inter-satellite links and phased array beam forming and digital processing technologies.

The Starlink satellites feature a flat panel design with a single solar panel and have a mass of about 260 kg. The satellites are stacked for launch without the need for an dispenser. As a propulsion system for orbit adjustion and maintenance as well as deorbiting, they use krypton-fueled Hall thrusters. The Startracker navigation system is based on the heritage of Dragon. The satellites are designed autonomously avoid collisions based on uplinked tracking data. At the end of life, the Starlink satellites are to be actively deorbited, leading to reentry. 95% of the material is expected to burn up.

The first 1584 Starlink satellites are to operate from a 550 km orbit. Later sub-constellations are planned for 1200 km and very low 340 km orbital altitude, bringing the final constellation size to nearly 12000 satellites.

The initial 60 satellites, called Block v0.9, are prototypes lacking the Ka-band payloads and inter-satellite links.

For launch, 60 satellites are stacked on top of each other without the need of a massive deployer. 60 satellite is the maximum possible to fit inside the Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5), although a future enlarged fairing will allow launches of more than 60 satellites per mission. Later satellites are also to be launched by the Super Heavy Starship reusable launch vehicle.

The first prototype launch took place in May 2019 on a Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) booster, carrying 60 Starlink Block v0.9 prototype satellites for testing.

The first batch of 60 fully operational Starlink Block v1.0 satellites took place in November 2019 and 24 launches are planned for 2020.

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 2019-11-11
    Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Full Thrust
    Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

    Funding Agency

    • Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) (United States)

    Discipline

    • Communications

    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

     
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