SpaceX launches rocket carrying Blacksky, Starlink satellites

The SpaceX recently launched fifty satellites. These satellites are to join the Starlink mega constellation. The satellites were launched on Falcon 9 rocket.

About the launch

  • SpaceX launched 48 Starlink satellites and two Earth Observation satellites called Blacksky Global. The Blacksky Global is building a satellite constellation which is capable of providing images of any part of the earth. It is a constellation of 60 satellites.
  • The satellites were launched from Florida.
  • The Starlink constellation aims to provide internet access to the Earth on a large scale. It consists of 1600 satellites.

Update on Starlink

The SpaceX Starlink constellation is being built to provide high – speed internet coverage. As of December 2021, SpaceX has launched 1,900 broadband satellites. This is in 2021 alone. It has approval to launch 30,000 more satellites.

What is special about this launch?

This launch carried upgraded version of the Starlink satellites. These satellites are equipped with laser – based systems. These systems allow the satellites to communicate with each other in the orbit and also with the ground stations.

Raptor Engine Crisis in the launch

  • The SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shortly before the launch announced that the company may face bankruptcy due to Raptor Engine Crisis. Raptor is a massive engine of SpaceX. It is to be used to propel the next generation launch system of SpaceX called “STARSHIP”. Starship is to take people to space.
  • Raptor engines have twice the power of the Merlin 1D engines. The Merlin 1D engines are used to power Flacon 9 rockets.
  • Propellant used in Raptor engine is liquid methane.
  • The Raptor Engine crisis is to affect the subsequent launches of SpaceX.

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