Team is go for launch of 60 Starlink sats tomorrow—heaviest payload to date, first re-flight of a fairing, and first Falcon 9 to fly a fourth mission. Watching 1 sat that may not orbit raise; if not, 100% of its components will quickly burn up in Earth’s atmosphere

These look quite a bit different from the ones launched earlier this year. I wonder what has changed between batches.
The dishes look new. From what I recall the first set was was entirely phased-array.
I can’t wait for high speed internet in rural areas. I’m hoping this will have a net positive impact on the US and the world. This project is extremely inspiring.
Well, the looks, for one thing.
these ones can communicate between each other, right?
I couldn't find this after a quick search; does SpaceX manufacture Starlink sats themselves and if so where; if not, do we know who is contracted? 1 company or several?
Made in house at Redmond WA facility.
Yes, they do manufacture themselves. Somewhere in Washington.
They make them themselves;
Any indication that these have laser links?
Word is that the laser links will not be included until mid 2020.
The big dish looks like an RF intersatellite link. I guess they have some issues with the laser at the moment.
If they know one has a problem, why not swap it?
The economics of a delayed launch (unstacking + re-stacking + that lost time) may actually make it viable to just launch on-time and let one satellite fail immediately. Additionally, it may provide valuable data that can help them iterate with future satellites.
The above is just uninformed speculation from me as an individual and shouldn’t be taken as official or sourced info.
The wording is odd. Perhaps it is their way of saying there are plenty of spares. Either that or maybe they were going to test deorbit of a satellite anyway to verify 100% destruction.
It is actually really hard to do fixes to hardware at the last minute. So much so that it's common to write that off. If a scientific instrument is broken on, say, a Mars rover during the final months of testing and integration, it is pretty likely they are just going to fly like that and accept that there will be minimal hope for that instrument. If a battery in a CubeSat is going bad from being on the shelf for too long awaiting its launch, they probably won't crack it open and swap out the batteries because that takes a significant amount of work and recertification, they will probably just fly with the known risk. It is somewhat rare for an issue to be so important that it will delay the launch (for example, InSight had an issue with a leak in a vacuum capsule, but this was so critical that they had to remove it from the rocket stage and perform repairs, delaying the launch by over two years, but if that instrument was anything short of mission-critical, they would have flown with the known risk).
Cheaper to not delay launch than fix or replace one satellite?
Also just guessing but maybe they're A/B testing a cheaper or less performant sub-component. If it still works, they know they can improve satellites going forward.
just look at amazon reviews for any electronic product, a few are dead on arrival. it's cheaper to move forward with "good enough" production and deal with the failures than ensure all products are perfect. we're now in a space age where not everything has to be perfect.
That would delay the launch and I doubt they have spare sats just sitting in the hanger
It's a sunk cost. If they had spares waiting, sure, that would make sense. But they they will be launching as fast as they can produce new sats, so every time they launch a bird that they have doubts about and it goes well, they get an extra satellite; if it doesn't, well, at least they tried. And remember, there plan for 30k operational sats now, so every percentage point of extra efficiency they can squeeze out of their process is a big deal.
1.5% failure rate isn't really that big of a deal.
It is possible that they are testing something new on that one and they are getting the fact out ahead of people whining about the potential failure.
Sweet! Missed the last train. Will be looking for this one.
And if you miss this one you'll still have plenty of extra opportunities :)
wait heavier than the last starlink mission. Didn't mission1 already have problems with too much heating during reentry?
This one is heavier, but different (lower orbit). First was 13620 kg to 440km 53°
This one is only 280km.
Satellites went from 230kg to 260kg with the addition of new hardware on the sats. The overall increase is of almost 2 metric tons more of payload compared to the first mission.
Yeah I'm not sure why it's heavier. The twitter comments didn't seem to be getting answers yet
doesn't mean they want to do a 5th refly on this one and heavier does not mean faster reentry. if anything, the opposite
What was the issue with too much heating?
I wish I had an outlook calendar for each launch so I can watch from my office.
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Wait, is it me or are there 120 satellites in that picture? I'm pretty sure I'm counting 30 sats per stack, and there are clearly 4 distinct stacks.
Doing God’s work.
The dish and the black thing next to it looks to be new!
That's what I noticed as well. The big dish looks like an RF intersatellite link. And the small patch antenna might be a TTC antenna put far away from the payload antenna to reduce interferences.
There is a lot of per satellite variation...
Does this batch have inter-satellite links?
No, inter-sat links will come towards the end of next year per Gwynne.
Probably what the dishes are for. I recall laser interlink comes later?
From my understanding it means that one satellite showed a flaw during the last tests and might just fail immediately.
"Watching 1 sat that may not orbit raise" means that they are watching an issue on one of their birds which may cause it to fail its orbit raising maneuver. It's too late to fix or swap out the satellite now, so they are accepting the risk and watching the issue.
How are you interpreting that from this tweet. It’s says ONE sat might not orbit raise and that it will completely disintegrate upon reentry if that’s the case. There literally not a single other statement about any of them being different. You are trying way too hard to read something into a perfectly clear tweet. Just because a sat has an issue doesn’t mean it’s of a different design. I have no idea why you made that up.
Does Starlink make the Iridium Next constellation obsolete?
Not necessarily, they still have different use cases by most accounts. Starlink will require a pizza box sized antenna that may need to be relatively stable for the phased array antenna to maintain communications (so building or car mounted could work, but handheld seems very unlikely) while Iridium I believe is designed for a much smaller and lower cost ground antenna, so you can slap one on a shipping container and track it all cross the world at lower cost, and also use a small handheld ground device.
Just my limited understanding, correct me if this is wrong.
I wouldn't think so. Iridium Next is a competitor to be sure, but it also does global satphone service. Iridium NEXT is backwards compatible with the original Iridium network, so if nothing else, it can still do satphone service and at this point SpaceX has made no mention of going after that market (which would also required designing new customer equipment).
The drone ship footage didn't cut off during landing!
That is another first I think.
Which means they got one bunk sat in the stack but are not going to delay to replace it.
The recovery ships have been spotted returning to port. So no recovery it seems like.
No fairing recovery. Booster landed on the drone ship (continuous video from the drone ship!).
im not sure i understand the last sentence... watching 1 sat that may not orbit raise. does he mean ONE of the SIXTY satellites is at risk for failure? or... ALL?
Likely the systems check on one sat shows an anomaly and they are not sure if the propulsion system will work as intended.
Seems pretty clear... "watching 1 sat" means they are watching one satellite.
One, meaning a single sat.
I am a bit confused by this as well. Awaiting a clarification tweet.
I wonder, is that 1 sat intentionally crippled or is there an unexpected issue with it and they don’t want to swap it out?
I suspect if it was intentional, they would have said "will not" instead of "may not"
Of SpaceX rockets.
No Apollo will trump everything for a while still
How heavy is it compared to the previous star link
~1800kg more mass
Very exciting!
What are the dishes for? I thought they were using phased array antennas for satellite to ground terminal communications. Is the dish the ground station uplink?
I wonder if we will see another train of starlinks like last launch.
Most likely, can't think of a better method than letting them spread in a line and raising them up one by one
They should be even more visible because they are at a much lower orbit, no?
General question about Starlink- people fear that the mass constellation makes it more likely, but with the starlink satellites naturally deorbitting within 1-5 years if they fail, doesn’t that mean that the absolute worst case scenario for a starlink-induced Kessler syndrome is that it lasts for 1-5 years until we can safely start launching again?
One concern is that collisions can send some debris intersecting into higher orbits than the original objects were in.
That's really compact. Amazing.
It's interesting they know of a problem with one of the sats prior to launch. This is a fundamental shift in quality control that could not have happened with any other launch vehicle.
What are you talking about? "Conventional" sat builders know very well the state of their sats prior to launch. If you mean that their bad QA is the fundamental shift, then yeah, maybe.
Just when I thought flights were becoming normal, a lot of firsts on this mission!
Reservations about Starlink aside, I'm glad I have tomorrow off so I can actually get up early to watch the launch.
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I find starlink as exciting a development from a planetary perspectice.
Like a cell trying to move and communicate with itself. Its sci-fi. I love it
I can't find an up-to-date photo of a Starlink sat from the current batch. I'd like to know if they look significantly blacker or darker, as SpaceX promised to decrease the sat's albedo compared to the previous (test) batch.
The group photo only shows edges, which are not significant for the average albedo as the sat is so flat.
Can't wait to see the footage
Any one know what the path they will take this time where we see them deploying before boosting its orbit? Where is the best places to see it?
What’s the payload weight?
Very excited to see these (still) one-of-their-kind Krypton-propelled spacecraft powering the entire globe's internet.
These are in no way powering the entire globe's internet, or powering anything at all really – they're relays that allow remote people to connect to the internet.
Without the lasers it's not very global. Coverage only LoS to ground station, and press release says north america only
Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:
Decronym is a community product of
Dayyum this will be russian and chinese government nightmare
No it won't, Starlink can't operate where it's not allowed to.
Why would it be. Just ban the sale of Starlink receivers and make connecting to Starlink illegal to account for those who still manage to acquire a receiver. Then the number of those who risk it will be no larger than the numbers of those who are brave and IT-knowledgeable enough to penetrate the country's firewall through terrestrial links today.