Starlink launches its first batch of V2 mini-satellites

Condotel Education

Starlink Launches V2 Mini Satellites

Listen to the Podcast:

SpaceX’s constellation Starlink has a new generation of V2 Mini satellites to enhance and iterate on its vast collection in orbit. Although the v1.5 satellites continue to be launched, the new ones that are not final (V2) are beginning to arrive.

What differences are there? Generally speaking, four times more capacity is needed for the network, since as customers grow, more capacity is needed to serve them.

The V2 Mini is the scaled down version of the V2 that will be available in orbit when the huge Starship launcher can put them there, while the “Mini” can be launched by the current Falcon 9 with no problem. Each V2 Mini weighs around 800kg (the original V1s weighed only 295kg). With this expanded size, each Falcon 9 fits a “barely” 21 compared to 60 for the older models.

Another difference is the switch from krypton to argon engines, which offer 2.4 times more thrust and 1.5 times more specific impulse, thus improving fuel efficiency. All SpaceX Starlink satellites have such an engine to reach their final orbit. For more details on the Starlink satellite, a downloadable document is provided.

A V1 satellite had a download capacity of 17 to 23GBps so, without having the exact number but the SpaceX statement, it is possible that we are close to 90Gbps in these V2 Mini.

The increase in capacity goes hand in hand with the reduction in speed. Initially one had greater download freedom, but now the price went from USD 110 per month to USD 120 for residential users with a transfer limit of 1TB. Once passed, the speed is reduced. This makes a big difference to classic cable providers as there are fewer limits because there is no limited spectrum.

See also  The Best Android Phones: Our Top Picks for 2023

In the case of radio signals, there will always be limitations, which is why Starlink aims to have more than 12,000 satellites, not only for global coverage but because more satellites allow for more connection points and less bandwidth limitation. If the idea is to have millions of customers, you have to offer something usable, not a few bytes.

First Starlink v2 satellites reach orbit

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 28, 2023

Subscribe to our latest newsletter

To read our exclusive content, sign up now. $5/month, $50/year

Categories: Technology

Leave a Comment