Elon Musk says Starship needs work to get SpaceX Starlink 2.0 satellites into orbit
Elon Musk has admitted he is banking on Starship, a launch rocket currently in development, to put SpaceX’s next-generation Starlink satellites into orbit.
“We need Starship to work and fly frequently, otherwise Starlink 2.0 will be stuck on the ground,” the tech billionaire told the YouTube show everyday astronaut.
He explained that sending Starlink 2.0 into orbit with the company’s Falcon 9 rockets, which were used to send the first generation of Starlink satellites into space, is implausible.
“Falcon does not have the volume or in-orbit mass capacity required for Starlink 2.0. Even if we shrink the satellite, Falcon’s total mass is not enough to do Starlink 2.0,” Musk said.
According to Musk, the first Starlink 2.0 has already been produced, weighs around 1.25 tonnes and is around seven meters long. He also believes Starlink 2.0 will replace SpaceX’s first-generation Starlink satellites by an order of magnitude.
“Think of it as how many bits of useful data each satellite can produce,” Musk said.
“Starlink 2.0 in terms of payload bits is almost an order of magnitude better than a Starlink 1.0.”
On Tuesday, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it would once again to delay its self-imposed deadline to complete Starship’s required environmental assessment for another two weeks.
Originally, the FAA had written to complete the evaluation by the end of 2021, but the deadline has been pushed back several times, more recently from the end of April to May 31.
In mid-May, SpaceX announced that its Starlink satellite internet service had been rolled out to 32 countries, and as of last week, Starlink is authorized across seven continents, having received regulatory approval in Nigeria and Mozambique.