SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches More Starlink Satellites

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New Starlink Mission Makes SpaceX the Largest Commercial Satellite Operator in the World.

The night sky just got more crowded by 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites. Yesterday at around 9 pm EST SpaceX launched its first Falcon 9 mission of 2020. The mission brings the total number of Starlink satellites up to 182. Though, some reports claim that 10 satellites never reached their intended destination.  Still, even 172 satellites make SpaceX the largest commercial satellite operator in the world. However, the company plans to keep building its constellation throughout the year. And by the end of 2020, they expect to have nearly 1500 satellites in orbit. For comparative purposes, there are only a couple thousand satellites currently orbiting Earth. The eventual scale of Starlink, though, will be even more massive. In fact, SpaceX officials have said they intend to build a mega constellation 42,000 satellites strong. 

Watch the Falcon 9 Launch

Starlink Controversy

As stated above, if SpaceX gets its way, the population of satellites in orbit will explode in the next few years. One particular group of people is not happy about that at all: Earthbound astronomers. You see, all of those satellites have a tendency to interfere with the view of extraplanetary objects beyond them. As such, many astronomers are outraged by SpaceX’s plans. 

In fact, problems have already started to spring up. Many astronomers have captured photos of Starlink satellites and posted them online. In response, SpaceX announced a few weeks ago that new Starlink satellites would be coated with a special anti-reflective surface that should eliminate the problem. However, the results remain to be seen.

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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