SpaceX is the largest private satellite operator in existence and it has already launched 60 satellites into earth’s orbit before its 2020 debut. Despite criticism, the company has been increasing its capabilities at a frenetic pace, successfully launching 5 missions since the start of the year.
The company is not planning to slow down and has plans to continue launching more satellites to increase its Starlink broadband services.
Expected to be fully operational later this year, SpaceX is aiming to have its Starlink network to be live and with the coverage available in Northern US and Canada. To ensure stability and reliability of the network, they have to amp up the amount of satellites launched to increase their coverage. To ensure that the connection to their Starlink network is at an optimum, SpaceX has ensured that the satellites launched much closer to earth than the traditional geostationary internet satellites. As SpaceX looks towards increasing the Starlink coverage to a global scale, they would need to increase the number of satellites in the sky.
SpaceX’s growth has been mapped out and will be dependant on the demand of their Starlink service and also the performance of its technology infrastructure in place. The company has filed their documents and are expecting to launch between 12000 to 42000 small satellites to build their satellites numbers and expand their network.
Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of the SpaceX, stated that measures are being taken by the company in addressing the complaints, as they are mediating with the earth-based observation of the night sky. Astronomers are arguing that the satellites are disrupting their observations and research of the stars and the galaxy when they watch through earth-based telescopes and observatories as the satellites produce lights and can present light streams in astrophotography.
SpaceX also has planned safety measures to safeguard the Starlink satellite cargo in case of a failed launch. The satellites will be equipped with parachutes to reduce the impact damage to the equipment sustained. The old method of using nets to catch the falling cargo will be replaced with parachutes instead.