SpaceX lost 3 Starlink satellites out of 60, but in general everything is going according to plan

SpaceX provided additional information on its Starlink global satellite network project. It is worth recalling that the company recently launched 60 communication satellites, which, after several thousand devices have gone into orbit, will provide access to the network for residents of the most remote and inaccessible regions of the Earth.   Ilon Musk sent 60 satellites on May 23, all of them successfully separated from the rocket and began to prepare for the start of work. On Friday, a company spokesman said that 45 satellites, using their ion micromotors, reached their calculated orbits, another 5 satellites are catching up with their “colleagues”. The status of 5 more is checked. However, not all devices will be commissioned – “at least three” devices do not work as they should. Soon they will enter the atmosphere of the Earth, where they will burn.   The waiting period will not last long, since the satellites are at an altitude of about 440 kilometers above the surface of the planet.   It seems that Musk and his team are generally satisfied with the project. Previously, no one said that all satellites are expected to go out without a hitch – no doubt, trouble may happen when you first start. And the failure of 3 devices out of 60 is an excellent result.   “This project is simply saturated with technology, so it is possible that some satellites simply will not work,” said Musk, referring to the complexity of the project and the satellites. He also said that in addition to the three satellites that are already planned to lower the atmosphere, the company will remove two more from orbit – they will be a demonstration that the descent of failed devices does not pose a threat to people or buildings.   Previously, the company stated that the devices are designed to completely burn in the atmosphere without residue.   On June 12, the company sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, indicating that almost all the satellites at the expected time gave a signal of readiness for operation, so that the whole project is being successfully implemented. Satellites are controlled from stations on Earth.   The message reads as follows: “Shortly after the successful launch of the Falcon 9, Starlink satellites became the first NGSO system that operates in the Ku-band and communicates with ground stations located in the United States, which demonstrates the real capabilities of the system to provide the people of the Earth with fast and reliable Internet.   57 Starlink satellites communicate with SpaceX ground stations using a directional array of antennas. 45 satellites reached the estimated height with the help of their engines, five additional satellites continue to rise, five others are still being checked. Two satellites were put into an incorrect orbit specifically to demonstrate the possibility of destroying non-working vehicles and SpaceX’s intention to deal with the problem of space debris.   Space X implemented small differences in the design of satellites in order to bring their efficiency to the maximum level. Despite the fact that the company is satisfied with the overall course of the project, SpaceX will continue to improve satellite capabilities. Now, since most devices have reached their intended height, the company will use the entire array to turn on the broadband connection signal, testing the network using video streaming and playing “heavy” computer games using gateways located in North America. ”   In addition, SpaceX will continuously monitor the satellites to ensure that they have reached their estimated orbit. This will be done with a visual assessment. Probably, the company will thus verify the reality of the astronomers’ fears that the thousands of satellites launched into Earth’s orbit will interfere with astronomical observations.   “We contacted astronomers and are now discussing the details of the mission, trying to scientifically assess the influence of satellites on astronomical observations,” the company said in an e-mail message.   So far it is unclear why the three satellites failed, but probably the company will soon be able to tell about the causes of the problems.