SpaceX Reveals Details Of Next Generation Starlink Satellites

Written By: Jay K.

Published: Sun, Feb 26, 2023 8:31 PM

Latest Update: Sun, Feb 26, 2023 8:40 PM

SpaceX is set to the first batch of Starlink version 2 mini satellites from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Monday.

SpaceX has been launching version 1 and version 1.5 Starlink satellites since November 2019, but while this generation of Starlink has provided a functional system, the network is struggling to handle user demand.

SpaceX initially said Starlink V2 would launch exclusively on Starship due to the sheer size and mass of the payloads, however due to delays in Starship coming online the company has developed what they are calling "Starlink V2 Mini", Starlink V2 satellite technology but in a smaller form-factor which can be launched aboard Falcon 9 - albeit in smaller batches than that of version 1.

What Is Starlink V2 Mini?

Image Credit: SpaceX

Starlink v2 Mini is the latest iteration of SpaceX's satellite internet service, Starlink. These satellites are equipped with advanced technologies such as more powerful phased-array antennas and the use of E-band for backhaul, which will enable Starlink to provide approximately four times more capacity per satellite than earlier iterations.

With the increased capacity, Starlink will be able to provide more bandwidth, better connectivity, and high-speed internet to millions of people around the world. The phased-array antennas are an essential component of Starlink's communication system. They allow the satellites to communicate with ground stations to provide internet coverage.

The V2 minis are also equipped with new argon Hall thrusters for on-orbit manoeuvring, which have 2.4 times the thrust and 1.5 times the specific impulse of the first-generation thrusters. This will improve the satellites' ability to manoeuvre and maintain their orbit, ensuring uninterrupted internet coverage. SpaceX engineers developed the argon Hall thrusters, and this will be the first time that argon Hall thrusters are operated in space.

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