Update on 06/14/20 – RSD
With the success of sending astronauts to the ISS, who have already commented on their experience during the trip, SpaceX intensified its space program and sent this Saturday (06/13) 58 new satellites to improve its broadband network Starlink, besides of three Planet Labs space vehicles to observe planet Earth.
– SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 13, 2020
This is the third launch of the month after the "Starlink 7" mission, making Elon Musk's internet network count with more than 500 devices in orbit, while SkySat, from Planet Labs, reaches 18 observers. The idea is to involve the planet with Starlink, in order to offer high speed internet around the world.
It is worth remembering that the company has already entered into a partnership with NASA for the production of the first film recorded in space. The production should star in none other than Tom Cruise, but it is not yet known when, much less how these recordings will be made.
SpaceX, however, has already announced that it plans to take four passengers on a private trip around our orbit between 2021 and 2022, something that may be related to the film's project.
Original article on 06/09/20
SpaceX will put more satellites in orbit to improve the quality of Earth photos
SpaceX has achieved a major achievement in recent weeks by sending two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The Crew Dragon capsule was launched into orbit by the Falcon 9 rocket – which returned to Earth on June 2.
Now, the SpaceX rocket can be used to take the SkySats satellites from Planet – a satellite imaging company – into orbit. With these satellites, the company hopes to obtain more accurate images of the Earth and more often. In addition to sending six more satellites to its constellation, which already has 15 artificial bodies, Planet will also reduce their distance from 500 km to 450 km from Earth.
This launch is expected to begin soon, with Falcon 9 taking three satellites in the coming weeks and the other three in July.
This partnership between Planet and SpaceX is part of a launch-sharing program by Elon Musk – CEO of SpaceX -, which charges $ 500 for every kilogram transported by its space vehicles. In this way, the South African billionaire's company helps smaller companies launch their missions at less cost.
When the sending mission is complete, with the last six satellites already in orbit – and with a total of 21 in the constellation – the company will be able to have photos richer in qualities than the ones that are obtained now, in addition to obtaining up to 12 new images per day. "This unprecedented feature will provide a quicker response to global events and allow images to be created at times of the day not seen by satellites," says Martin Van Ryswyk, senior vice president of products.
The missions launched by Planet are important for companies that design smart cities, track natural disasters and monitor natural habitats.