SpaceX begins second Starlink shell with Vandenberg launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, carrying a total of 51 second-generation Starlink satellites into orbit. This was the first launch in support of deploying the second shell of Starlink satellites. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4-East (SLC-4E) at 8:55 PM Pacific time (03:55 UTC on September 14). The Second Starlink Shell Monday’s launch, designated Starlink Group 2-1, began the second main stage of deploying the Starlink satellite internet constellation. SpaceX had previously launched 1740 Starlink spacecraft over the course of over 30 missions, all of which have been either development spacecraft or satellites for the first “shell” of the constellation. Previous Starlink flights have seen the vast majority of satellites deployed at an orbital inclination of 53 degrees, constituting the first shell of the Starlink constellation. These spacecraft provide coverage between Earth’s 55th parallels. In order to build the second shell, SpaceX is now deploying satellites at an approximately 70-degree inclination, which will allow for Starlink coverage in northern parts of the Americas such as Canada’s territories or Alaska, as well as Northern Europe and Southern parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  See AlsoStarlink Group 2-1…

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SpaceX begins second Starlink shell with Vandenberg launch

Updated: September 13, 2021 — 10:26 pm