SpaceX’s next Starlink satellite launch will include the company’s first broadband satellite equipped with sun visors to reduce its brightness,media CNET reported. Since Elon Musk’s company began launching small satellites more than a year ago, astronomers and other observers have been surprised, even uneasy, by the amount of sunlight reflected by the orbiting router, saying it often interferes with scientific observations.
Musk and SpaceX have been working with major astronomical groups to address the issue, promising to address the issue as they step up plans to launch tens of thousands of satellites in the next few years.
Initially, SpaceX tried to launch the so-called “darksat,” which is essentially a starlink satellite with a dark coating, but the results were mixed. Next, the company developed and tested its deployable sun visor, which it called “VisorSat.”
Earlier this month, SpaceX launched a VisorSat to test new technology, and the next launch will be the first satellite to be fully equipped with a sun visor.
Blastoff was scheduled to launch Friday, but was canceled hours before the launch so SpaceX could resolve some technical issues. A new launch date has not yet been announced.
Another falcon 9 launch is also scheduled for June 30, this time carrying a new GPS satellite.