The next launch of SpaceX Starlink satellites has been postponed until July 8 and will include the company’s first broadband satellites equipped with sun visors to reduce its brightness,media CNET reported. Since Elon Musk’s company began launching the small satellites more than a year ago, astronomers and other observers have been surprised, even uneasy, by the amount of sunlight reflected by the orbiter, often interfering with scientific observations.
Musk and SpaceX have been working with major astronomical groups and have pledged 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 a deployable sun visor called “VisorSat.”
SpaceX launched a VisorSat earlier this month to test new technology, and the next launch will carry the first satellites fully equipped with sun visors.
The launch was originally scheduled for June 26, but was canceled hours before the launch so SpaceX could resolve some technical issues. The new launch date has been tentatively set for July 8, SpaceFlight Now reported.
The mission will be launched with a new GPS satellite after the Falcon 9 rocket is launched on June 30.