SpaceX breaks rocket launch record with latest Starlink mission

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SpaceX has broken its own launch record for the number of rockets sent into space in one year.

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The latest Starlink mission saw another batch of Internet satellites delivered to low-Earth orbit, taking off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday.

This marked the 27th successful launch for the private space firm in 2021, surpassing the 26 launches achieved in 2020.

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Six more launches are planned before the end of the year, while 2022 could see even more lift offs for SpaceX.

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The Falcon 9 rocket launched 48 Starlink satellites into orbit, bringing the total constellation size to over 1,750.

SpaceX plans to put 42,000 Starlink satellites into orbit to provide high-speed internet access to more than 99 percent of the world’s population.

“Starlink enables video calls, online gaming, streaming and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite Internet,” the firm’s website claims.

“While most satellite Internet services today come from single geostationary satellites that orbit the planet at about 35,000 km, Starlink is a constellation of multiple satellites that orbit the planet at about 550 km, much closer to Earth, and around the world. covers.

“Since the Starlink satellites are in low orbit, the round-trip data time between the user and the satellite — also known as latency — is much shorter than that of satellites in geostationary orbit.”

Starlink users are able to connect to the service by purchasing a router and dish from SpaceX and connecting through the app. Average download speeds are currently between 100 Mb/s and 200 Mb/s and latency is as low as 20ms in most locations.

In October, SpaceX boss Elon Musk said the company was in talks with airlines to deliver “low latency ~half a gigabit connectivity over the air” via Starlink.


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