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SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launches Powerful ViaSat Internet Relay Satellite

rear Multiple delays due to weather and technical issues, SpaceX finally launched a Falcon Heavy rocket carrying a competitor’s internet satellite on Sunday. It is the first of three next-generation data relay stations capable of terabytes per second performance.

After a final hour-long delay due to wind gusts, SpaceX’s most powerful operational rocket was brought to life at 8:26pm EDT, with over £5 million from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A. It rose with thrust.

SpaceX launched its sixth Falcon Heavy rocket on Sunday, using the company’s most powerful operational booster to orbit a third-generation ViaSat internet satellite and two small hitchhiker satellites.

William Harwood/CBS News

Powered by 27 Merlin engines coupled with three Falcon 9 first stage boosters, the Falcon Heavy accelerated rapidly as it consumed kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants to reduce weight. After an initial straight rise, the rocket arced along its eastern trajectory, putting on a spectacular evening show for local residents and tourists.

SpaceX typically salvages first-stage boosters for refurbishment and reuse, but it needs all available propellant to launch the 13,000-pound ViaSat-3 satellite into its planned orbit on Sunday. bottom.

As a result, after pushing the rocket out of the lower atmosphere, all three core stages were scrapped and dropped into the ocean more than 50 miles below.

The single engine powering the Falcon Heavy’s upper stage shut down eight minutes after launch, placing the vehicle on its initial parking track. Two more launches were planned over the next three hours and 44 minutes to put the satellite into geostationary orbit, which he planned 22,300 miles above the equator.

Close-up view of launch from historic Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

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Sunday’s flight capped an intense few days for SpaceX, which launched 46 of its own low-altitude Starlink Internet satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Station in California on Thursday. The company then launched two medium-altitude broadband satellites for his Luxembourg-based SES from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Friday.

All three launches will deploy space-based internet repeaters to provide broadband access to customers around the world, including rural, hard-to-reach or underserved areas, and aircraft and ships at sea. highlights the ongoing race to

Starlink satellites are part of a rapidly growing constellation of small, low-altitude Laser Link satellites designed, built and operated by SpaceX to provide high-speed, low-latency Internet to users around the world.

It takes thousands of Starlinks to ensure that multiple fast-moving satellites are on the user’s horizon at all times to provide uninterrupted service. The satellite receives user input, transmits it to nearby Starlink, and relays it to a “gateway” ground station connected to a high-speed data line. The response is then returned to the user.

An artist’s impression of the ViaSat-3 internet relay satellite in orbit, equipped with a giant mesh antenna that enables high-speed data transfer.


ViaSat takes a different approach, placing satellites in orbit 22,300 miles above the equator and rotating synchronously with the planets below, making them appear stationary in the sky. Three such he ViaSat-3 satellites are planned to provide hemispheric and global space-based Internet access.

The powerful satellite is equipped with huge solar panels that generate 25 kilowatts of power and stretch 144 feet end-to-end when fully deployed.

Capable of processing up to 1 terabyte of data per second, the satellite is equipped with the largest satellite dish ever launched by a commercial satellite. Upon arrival at the station, a giant mesh reflector based on technology developed for the James Webb Space Telescope will be deployed on an 80- to 90-foot-long telescopic boom.

If all goes well, the first ViaSat-3 will provide Internet access to customers in the Western Hemisphere starting this summer. Two more satellites covering Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific are due to be launched in the next two years.

“If you’re in low-Earth orbit (the provider), by definition, you’re going to be yelling across the sky pretty quickly to stay in orbit. So a terminal on the ground has to be more complicated. ..and more expensive,” David Ryan, ViaSat’s president of space and commercial networks, told CBS News.

“Another advantage of geostationary orbit is that one satellite can see one-third of the earth. This is the principle behind ViaSat-3.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/spacex-falcon-heavy-launches-powerful-viasat-internet-relay-satellite/ SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launches Powerful ViaSat Internet Relay Satellite

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