back to article Third time's a charm? SpaceX hopes to launch 60 Starlink broadband sats into orbit tonight

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket could be lobbing 60 Starlink satellites, the company's heaviest payload yet, this Thursday evening. Hopefully, the launch will be successful this time round. The first attempt on May 15 was thwarted by “excess upper level winds”. The second attempt, a day later on May 16, was postponed so engineers …

  1. Chris G

    Network of thousands

    At what point will we need a global Orbital Traffic Control and who gives permissions to erstwhile satellite launchers?

    Also is there a record of everything we have in orbit so that a launch isn't going to insert a satellite into someone else's secret sattellite orbit?

    I know they should all be visible but if the military likes stealth planes and ships I would be surprised if no-one has attempted something stealthy in orbit.

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Network of thousands

      What, like this?

    2. Saltee

      Re: Network of thousands

      Here you go:

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Network of thousands

        Wow. Thanks, Saltee! That's.. kinda scary. Well, here's me cancelling my holiday oin the ISS I was never going to be able to afford anyway - looks too dodgy for my liking! 8-}

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Network of thousands

      I think it's the USAF that tracks space satellites and debris in orbit. As I remember, they provide this information to any who want it in order to minimize collisions and more junk up there.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. TrumpSlurp the Troll

    This morning the sky....

    .....above the house is full of Starlinks.

    1. hplasm

      Re: This morning the sky....

      ...murmurating gently in the Ku and V bands...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: This morning the sky....

        I thought the coo band was only used by pigeons?

        1. Spherical Cow

          Re: This morning the sky....

          It's all there in RFC 6214.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All of you worring about satellite traffic are missing the bigger threat:

    "and the satellites will go a further 110 kilometers (68 miles) with their Hall-effect thrusters powered by krypton propellant."

    Think about it: an unstable, flamboyant, eccentric billionare with his out fleet of rockets is in the process of encircling the Earth with Kryptonite. It's a pre-emptive move against Superman. We're all doomed if this continues!

    1. Swiss Anton

      Re: danger

      I'm sure we can rely on 007 to save the day.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: danger

        Isn't 007 preoccupied with trying to make Brexit work?

  5. spold Silver badge

    Bowman quote

    "My god, it's full of stars"

  6. Nifty Silver badge

    Don't we need to start managing the spacejunk footprint? Every launch should require a proportionate commitment to clean up x amount of obsolete old stuff from orbit.

  7. stiine Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Watch the video from the beginning up to the launch for the answer to your question.

  8. JimmyPage

    "steer themselves away"

    How ?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear God

    I will stop following your links to Twitter henceforth. I spent a couple of minutes reading the posts on that page. Gads - I thought only porn sites had that much masturbation on them. Everybody's trying to jump on the "famous person's" coat-tails. I feel like I need a bleach shower now.

    This isn't a cut against Musk, just against the almost cult-like followers posting on that page.

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    95 per cent of the components on each satellite will burn up

    That's the second time I've seen this comment in relation to this story on El Reg.

    Does it mean what it says, or is it lazy journalism for "95% of each satellite will burn up". There are lots of small components in that "95% of the components". If it's literal, than which are the 5% of components that don't burn up? Is that the 5% largest and heaviest most likely to cause damage when they hit? With potentially 1000's of these things up in orbit, and constant stream of replacements due to their relatively short lives, is it going to be raining satellite debris all the way to the ground on a regular basis?

    1. MNB

      Re: 95 per cent of the components on each satellite will burn up

      I've always assumed the other 5% is propellant expended during in orbit station keeping ... i.e. Krypton.

    2. IT Poser

      Re: 95 per cent of the components on each satellite will burn up

      Very good questions. Many of the answers can be obtained or inferred from last fall's FCC modification filing my search skills are failing to find. From memory:

      The 5% that don't burn up are older designs of components like reaction wheels and transmitter bits. These 60 satellites are a mix of new and old designs. 5% is an up to figure. Future satellites will replace the old component designs with whatever burns up during reentry that actually works in space. One major concern, laser interlink mirrors, will be added later, presumably when mirrors that burn up finish development.

      The near-term goal is 100% burn up. I hope you agree that is an acceptable target.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like