SpaceX has begun launching V2 Mini Starlink satellites
A Falcon 9 rocket launched the Starlink mission from Florida on February 27, 2023.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the first batch of next-generation Starlink internet satellites as it renews and expands its orbital network.
A Falcon 9 rocket launched 21 satellites, known as the “V2 Mini” satellites, into orbit on Monday. The satellites represent the first iteration of Starlink’s “Gen2” plans, which were approved by the Federal Communications Commission in December.
Musk shared a video V2 small satellites launched from a rocket into orbit. While the company’s first-generation launches carried about 50 to 60 satellites at a time, the new spacecraft is larger and heavier than its predecessor, meaning fewer satellites are carried with each Falcon 9 launch. The company plans to use the Starship rocket under development for future second-generation Starlink missions.
A Falcon 9 rocket’s upper stage will place a stack of Starlink “V2 Mini” satellites into orbit on February 27, 2028.
Before launch, SpaceX highlighted the V2 Minis’ advanced features, including “powerful phased-array antennas” and “new argon Hall engines” for maneuvering in orbit. The company’s V2 Mini satellites add about four times more network capacity per satellite compared to previous iterations.
Notably, Monday marked the 100th time SpaceX has attempted and successfully landed a Falcon 9 booster after launch — starting on February 16, 2021. The company is launching orbital rockets at an unprecedented speed. mission every four days on average in 2023.
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The company has launched nearly 4,000 Starlink satellites to date, and its network reached 1 million subscribers in December across a variety of product offerings – residential, commercial, RV, marine and aeronautical services.
Last week, SpaceX adjusted the price of the Starlink residential service to accommodate the capacity requirements.
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