SpaceX has announced it is starting to use the second-generation Starlink constellation to beam internet data. This is great news as they can provide even more reliable internet access almost anywhere on our planet.
SpaceX has initiated communications for the Gen2 satellite system
On Tuesday, the company notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its actions, PCMag reported. SpaceX has initiated communications between spacecraft in its Gen2 non-geostationary orbit satellite system and licensed earth stations with directional antennas located within the United States.
« SpaceX has initiated communications between spacecraft in its Gen2 non-geostationary orbit satellite system and licensed earth stations with directional antennas located within the United States. These operations are compliant with the terms and conditions of its license. The first Gen2 space station was placed in its authorized orbit and began operating on February 10, 2023, » said David Goldman, Senior Director, Satellite Policy at SpaceX.
SpaceX aims to improve Starlink
At the moment, it remains unknown whether Starlink is already using second-generation satellites to deliver internet to customers. Regardless, the progress the company has reported is great news. Starlink is a very popular service. An increase in the number of users may affect its bandwidth, which may reduce the internet speed for affected users. To prevent this from happening, SpaceX launches hundreds of additional satellites into Earth’s orbit. This included the launch of new satellites for the first and second-generation Starlink constellation, which the FCC licensed back in December.
Starlink’s first Gen2 space station began operating in February
SpaceX said it plans to use more powerful « V2 » satellites to fill the second-generation constellation and provide even higher speeds and capacity. The document notes: “The first Gen2 space station was placed in its authorized orbit and began operating on February 10, 2023.”
Not all satellites in a second-generation constellation are necessarily equipped with the latest equipment. The second generation constellation currently consists of 492 V1.5 satellites, according to PCMag. Meanwhile, only 79 of the remaining satellites feature “V2” mini technology. SpaceX hoped its Starship could launch more new, heavier satellites. However, Starship is not yet ready for this mission, so SpaceX uses Falcon 9 rockets but can launch fewer at a time.