Elon Musk Reveals Details of Next-Generation Starlink Satellites

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: The next generation of Starlink satellites are going to be larger, and more powerful, designed to provide internet access to remote parts of the world, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The space billionaire recently discussed the details of the Starlink Gen2 System on the popular YouTube show, Everyday Astronaut. In the 32 minute clip, Musk reveals that SpaceX has already produced the first Starlink 2.0 satellite. The new generation satellite is 7 meters (22 feet) long and weighs about 1.25 tons (approximately 2,755 pounds or 1,250 kilograms). Starlink 1.0, by comparison, weighs about 573 pounds (260 kilograms). The extra weight accounts for a more effective satellite, according to Musk. "Just think of it like how many useful bits of data can each satellite do," Musk said during the interview. "Starlink 2.0 in terms of useful bits of data is almost an order of magnitude better than a Starlink 1.0." Starlink satellites are lifted to low Earth orbit on board a Falcon 9 rocket, but the rocket will not be capable of carrying Starlink 2.0. "Falcon neither has the volume nor the mass [for the] orbit capability required for Starlink 2.0," Musk said. "So even if we shrunk the Starlink satellite down, the total up mass of Falcon is not nearly enough to do Starlink 2.0." Instead, SpaceX is banking on Starship, a heavy lift launch rocket that is currently under development, but has already suffered from numerous delays. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been working on an environmental review of the Starship program for months to assess its impact, and the report is expected in mid June, although it has been repeatedly pushed forward, much to Musk's dismay. "We need Starship to work and fly frequently or Starlink will be stuck on the ground," Musk said during the interview.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.