New Starlink satellites have started falling from space

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Associated Press)

We published this story on Yahoo en Español on April 5, 2023. We showed it again to our users since it appeared among the most viewed and commented our website throughout the year.

Elon Musk’s problems are piling up. His disastrous management of Twitter – a company that has seen him lose $20 billion so far – and the fact that he is no longer the richest man in the world has now been joined by a new setback: his SpaceX’s new Starlink satellites. the company fails.

It’s been just over a month since SpaceX launched 21 miniature versions of its next-generation Starlink satellite, but it looks like one of those babies can no longer stay in orbit.

As Gizmodo reports, Starlink satellite number 30062 re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Monday at 4:50 a.m. ET off the coast of California, according to a tweet from Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Institution who monitors SpaceX’s Internet satellites. It is very likely that the satellite burned up upon re-entry.

McDowell noted on Twitter that three Starlink V2 Minis were ascending in an attempt to reach their assigned operational orbits, and one underwent a controlled deorbit maneuver. Other observers have also been following the V2 Minis since their launch, including unofficial SpaceX guide Starlink Insider, who observed the satellite’s deorbit trajectory before its re-entry into the atmosphere.

Last month, Starlink Insider was one of the first to notice that the batch of newly launched satellites, instead of growing, was slowly falling. In response to rumors about the status of the V2 Mini, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to clarify that the satellites were “experiencing some problems” and that some would be removed from orbit while others would continue to be tested. The recently exorbitant V2 Mini could be the first of these, but this is not known for sure at the moment.

On February 27, SpaceX launched 21 next-generation Starlink satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The company calls them V2 Minis because they are miniature versions of the next generation of Starlink. The V2 Minis are designed to help SpaceX increase the capacity of its internet mega-constellation, meeting growing demand for Starlink until the company can launch batches of its next-generation full-size satellites.

However, for this to happen, SpaceX needs its Starship rocket to take to the skies. The Falcon 9 rocket currently in service is not designed to carry the next generation of satellites, which prompted SpaceX to build these tiny versions. SpaceX had planned to launch a second batch of V2 Minis last month, but it is unclear where the company is located with its miniature satellites.

This is how Starlink works

Starlink is a satellite Internet service being developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The idea behind this project is to put thousands of satellites into orbit to provide Internet to every corner of the planet, including rural areas with less coverage.

Starlink manages to bring 175Mbps internet to rural areas, some say it’s a ‘game changer’

The idea behind Starlink is to have about 12,000 satellites in orbit, and then you can pay a monthly fee to connect from anywhere using the device you have. The idea is also not to compete with fiber or 5G connections, but to complement both offerings with its own.

There are other satellite communications companies now, almost always targeting rural areas. And Starlink is also trying to launch there, trying to provide service in areas that are difficult for fixed networks to access, and where mobile network coverage is also poor.

Starlink consists of a kit that you need to install in your home to receive signals from satellites, so it is not a network that you can connect to from your cell phone, but rather a network for your home. And it’s not something that will replace home connections, since with such high latency it would be impossible to play online video games effectively, for example.

Thus, it is more of a network designed for those areas of geography where fiber does not reach and where there is a lack of 5G connections. In these cases, you will have the opportunity to select another alternative.

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Watch SpaceX launch 22 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral

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