Less than a week after sending NASA astronauts into space, SpaceX is once again ready to launch a Falcon 9 rocket. This time, it’s just that the main character has been replaced by a new batch of Starlink satellites with blackouts. At 9:25 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the privatespace company will launch a new batch of 60 Starlink Internet satellites off the coast of Florida. If successfully orbited, the company would have 480 Internet satellites in orbit, but that would be only a fraction of the 12,000 satellites it was allowed to launch.
SpaceX hopes to build a huge Starlink satellite network to provide broadband Internet coverage around the world. The launch also involved a slightly different satellite because it was equipped with a special light shield to reduce interference from solar light reflections on astronomical observations.
SpaceX’s Starlink has come under fire for being too bright in the sky at sunrise and sunset, and the blackout is the privatespace company’s latest attempt to reduce the brightness of its satellites.
Some enthusiasts have shared images on social media of a string of Starlink satellites sweeping the night sky (leaving a bright light mark) as a natural enemy of astronomical observation and photography.
In addition, SpaceX will attempt to redirect the satellite to reduce its brightness as it ascends to orbit. This improvement is still in progress and software updates will be deployed in due course.
Starlink Mission (via)
SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:25 p.m. ET on Wednesday. It should be noted that the remaining 59 satellites launched this time did not include additional light-shield accessories.
After the launch, SpaceX tried to land the Falcon 9 rocket on an unmanned barge, meaning it is likely to make its next flight.