SpaceX is leveraging its experience in building rockets and spacecraft to deploy the world's most advanced broadband int...
SpaceX is leveraging its experience in building rockets and spacecraft to deploy the world's most advanced broadband internet system. Starlink will provide fast, reliable internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable. Starlink satellite flight operations take place in three phases: orbit raise, on- station service, and deorbit. After deployment, over the course of one to four months, the satellites use their onboard thrusters to raise from an altitude of 290 km to 550 km. During this phase of flight the satellites are closely clustered and their solar arrays are in a special low-drag configuration, making them appear more visible from the ground. Once the satellites reach their operational altitude of 550km and begin on- station service, their orientation changes and the satellites become significantly less visible from the ground. On this flight, SpaceX is also testing an experimental darkening treatment on one satellite to further reduce the albedo of the body of the satellites. Throughout flight operations, SpaceX shares high-fidelity tracking data with other satellite operators through the U.S. Air Force's 18th Space Control Squadron. Additionally, SpaceX is providing leading astronomy groups with predictive two-line elements (TLEs) in advance of launch so astronomers can better coordinate their observations with the satellites.