- Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the first batch of next-generation Starlink internet satellites.
- The Falcon 9 rocket orbited 21 satellites, known as “V2 mini” satellites.
- According to the company, V2 Mini satellites add about four times more network capacity per satellite compared to previous iterations.
A Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Starlink mission from Florida on February 27, 2023.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the first batch of next-generation Starlink internet satellites to upgrade and build out more of its orbital network.
A Falcon 9 rocket launched 21 satellites, known as the “V2 Mini” satellites, into orbit on Monday. These satellites represent the first iteration under Starlink’s “Gen2” program, which the Federal Communications Commission approved in December.
Musk shared a video A V2 mini-satellite is launched into orbit from the rocket. First-generation model launches carried about 50 to 60 satellites at a time, but the new spacecraft are larger and heavier than their predecessors. The company will eventually use the in-development Starship rocket for future second-generation Starlink missions.
The upper stage of the Falcon 9 rocket will deploy a stack of Starlink “V2 mini” satellites into orbit on February 27, 2028.
SpaceX highlighted V2 Mini’s improved features before launch, including a “more powerful phased array antenna” and a “new Argon Hall thruster” for on-orbit maneuvers. According to the company, V2 Mini satellites add about four times more network capacity per satellite compared to previous iterations.
Monday in particular also marked the 100th consecutive time SpaceX successfully landed a Falcon 9 rocket booster after launch. This has been going on since February 16, 2021. In 2023, we will have a mission on average about every 4 days.
The company has launched nearly 4,000 Starlink satellites to date and the network reached 1 million subscribers in December with a range of products serving residential, business, RV, maritime and aviation customers.
Last week, SpaceX adjusted the price of its Starlink service for homes based on capacity demand.