Most of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites are already on track – Engadget




Thefirst batch of 60 Starlink internet satelliteshas been orbiting Earth for about a week, and now SpaceX has released a status update on the mission. According to a spokesperson, “all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations.”

The statement didn’t directlymention concerns by astronomers about their brightness and visibility, but Elon Musk already has, and they aren’t expected to reach their full altitude for three to four weeks. According to SpaceX, “observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves with the phased array antennas toward Earth and their solar arrays behind the body of the satellite.”

Parabolic Arcnotes that during a speech at MIT this week, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell mentioned four of the units had unspecified problems, while today’s update said “most” areusing their Hall thrustersto reach operational altitude and have already made contact with their broadband antennas, but all of them have maneuvering capability to avoid each other and other objects.

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