US aerospace company SpaceX has sent a further 57 satellites into space for an earth-spanning internet network, launched on Friday in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Two earth-imaging satellites belonging to the BlackSky company were also on board the mission, the tenth in the ‘Starlink’ satellite operation, which began last year.
The new satellites are equipped with a new type of aperture so that they no longer shine as brightly as the previous ones, Sven Melchert, chairman of the Association of Friends of the Stars, told dpa on Friday.
‘This is due to an agreement with professional astronomers, because without this aperture Starlink satellites would considerably reduce many astronomical observations in the future,’ he said.
The satellites, which each weigh over 200 kilograms, are to receive data from ground stations and relay it among themselves using lasers.
They are to fly in relatively low orbits and guarantee significantly shorter delay times compared to typical satellite communication.
Many sightings of the satellites in orbit were reported in spring because they were narrow and brightly visible from Earth. They flew very low and were particularly noticeable after sunset, as the remaining sunlight was reflected.
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