SpaceX successfully tests Starlink at nearly twice the speed of sound!

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SpaceX’s Starlink satellite Internet service also made a highly anticipated appearance on the company’s Starship rocket during its first test flight attempt in April. Prior to the test, Starlink had appeared in several regulatory documents and images of SpaceX’s rockets, but the image remained unclear prior to the April test attempt. Now, SpaceX has confirmed that Internet service has indeed appeared and, in the process, has set a new performance record by flying nearly twice the speed of sound and at nearly three times the altitude of commercial airliners.

Starlink’s spaceship performance opens the door to provide connectivity for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon for return

The first hint of SpaceX’s plan to use Starlink in high-intensity environments came from a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2021. In this filing, the company asked the governing body to allow it to conduct tests to determine if Starlink is suitable for “orbital spaceflight missions”.

This application was granted and it appears that SpaceX is on track to conduct the tests. While it is likely that the period for the application has now expired, what is certain is that the Internet service did indeed appear at the test launch of Starship. As a side note, it’s unclear whether SpaceX is also testing Starlink on crewed or cargo variants of the Dragon spacecraft.

In a Twitter post, a dedicated Starlink account that recently went live shared specifics about the Internet service’s performance. Second SpaceX:

Starlink set an altitude and speed record for use in flight during Starship’s first flight test, providing connectivity at over 123,600 feet and en route at Mach 1.7!

A close-up of what appears to be a Starlink user terminal was installed on the Starship SN15 prototype as it awaited its fate on the launch pad in April. In addition to testing Starlink on Air Force planes, SpaceX has also mounted the satellites on its prototype Starship rocket, as shown above. Image credit: Carter Goode

A month after SpaceX applied for orbital flights, it submitted another application requesting authority to test Starlink during a second-stage suborbital test flight of Starship. At the time, the company was testing the second stage of its rocket, and these were simple flight tests aimed at testing crucial performance characteristics of the rocket, such as its ability to reignite its engines and land in one piece. At the same time, photographs of the rocket also surfaced, showing Starlink antennas installed on the rocket.

With Starship’s next test flight scheduled for the next few months, it appears that the user antennas have performed well in a strenuous environment. Starlink must use a dish to communicate with orbiting satellites, and SpaceX has expanded its portfolio of dishes since the application round in 2021. While the company then only offered a consumer-focused terminal, it has since expanded them to include high-definition variants. performance that is unsuitable for use in close proximity to people and requires professional installation.

The jury has not yet decided when the spaceship’s next test flight will occur. SpaceX shared with NASA that the next test could happen as soon as July, and its boss, Mr. Elon Musk, also reiterated those estimates for the Starship 2 test flight. a test timeline for the second test flight of Starship starting from the 15th of this month and lasting for six months. However, a key obstacle in any fast plan is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which granted SpaceX’s launch license on the condition that it be limited to a single launch with future missions requiring further approvals. Ultimately, this approval will decide when a test will take place, and a key concern for the FAA will be the launch pad after the disastrous period following Starship’s first flight test.

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