The private US space company SpaceX has launched a further 57 satellites for a global Internet network. Two satellites from the BlackSky company were also on board the tenth Starlink mission, which was launched on Friday in Cape Canaveral.
The Starlink satellites should also appear twice over Germany early on Saturday morning, which can be queried for one’s own location at “heavens-above.com”.
Sven Melchert, chairman of the Vereinigung der Sternfreunde, explained to the German press agency dpa on Friday that the new satellites are equipped with a new type of screen so that they no longer shine as brightly as the previous ones. “That goes back to an agreement with professional astronomers, because without this aperture, Starlink satellites would considerably limit many astronomical observations in the future.”
The satellites, each weighing over 200 kilograms, are to receive data from ground stations and transmit them to each other with the help of lasers. They should fly in relatively low orbits and, compared to traditional satellite communication, guarantee significantly shorter delay times.
In the spring, many sightings of the satellites launched up to then had been reported because they were narrow and brightly visible from Earth. These flew very low and were particularly noticeable to the casual observer shortly after sunset because of the reflections of the remaining sunlight.
- Satellite network earth: © sdecoret – stock.adobe.com