Elon Musk's SpaceX Launches 21 Starlink V2 Mini Satellites into Earth's Orbit for Improved Internet Connectivity.


CEO of Starlink, Tesla, and Twitter, Elon Musk showed off his success in placing the Starlink V2 Mini Satellite in Earth’s orbit.

This satellite was delivered to orbit using a Falcon 9 rocket developed by SpaceX, another business owned by Elon. "The first Starlink V2 satellite successfully entered orbit," wrote Elon on his Twitter account, Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

SpaceX sent its first-generation Starlink internet satellite into orbit on a beautiful sunset launch Monday evening, US time. As many as 21 of SpaceX's new Starlink "V2 mini" satellites lifted off aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 6:13 p.m. EST (2313 GMT) Monday from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

That was about five hours later than planned, due to "space weather issues," according to a SpaceX Twitter update. Parts of the Falcon 9 rocket returned to Earth as planned 8.5 minutes after liftoff.

The piece landed on the SpaceX A Shortfall of Gravity drone, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. It was the third launch and landing for this particular thruster, said SpaceX representatives.

As for the top of the Falcon 9 Rocket, it continues to accelerate into low Earth orbit, delivering the Starlink Satellite. If all goes according to plan, it will deploy 21 Starlink satellites 64.5 minutes after liftoff.

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Starlink Satellite

The Starlink mini 21 V2 satellite is a test kit designed to match the SpaceX Falcon 9 'workhorse' rocket.

The full-size Starlink V2 spacecraft will launch in stages atop SpaceX's massive Mars rocket. It's not operational yet. The full-size Starlink V2 is bigger and more capable than its predecessor Starlink generations, according to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. Each V2 spacecraft will weigh 1.25 tonnes (1,130 kilograms) and can deliver services directly to mobile phones.

SpaceX has announced intentions to do so in 2023 through a partnership with T-Mobile.

The Mini V2 is smaller than the full-size variant but still larger and more capable than any other Starlink SpaceX has launched to date. "V2 mini includes key technologies — such as a more powerful phased array antenna and use of E-band for backhaul — that will allow Starlink to provide ~4x more capacity per satellite than before," SpaceX said via Twitter on Sunday (26 February 2023).

First Argon Hall

The Mini V2 also uses Hall's argon thrusters, which have never been used outside of Earth before. "The new thruster has 2.4x the thrust and 1.5x the specific thrust of our first generation thrusters," said SpaceX.

SpaceX has now launched more than 4,000 Starlink satellites for internet services around the world, and many more satellites are on the way. The company has licenses to deliver 12,000 Starlink aircraft and has applied for approval to deploy nearly 30,000 satellites. (*)

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