Elon Musk Current Affairs - 2019
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SpaceX launched a rocket carrying the first 60 satellites of its ‘Starlink’ constellation, from Cape Canaveral, Florida in US. The SpaceX’s new array of Starlink communication satellites is intended to provide Internet from space
- Launch Vehicle: The launch was conducted by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets which began to release the satellites at an altitude of 280 miles (450 kilometers).
- Orbit Position: The satellites later separated and used their thrusters to take up their positions in a relatively low orbit of 340 miles (550 kilometers).
- The satellite orbit is slightly higher than International Space Station (ISS), but below the majority of terrestrial satellites placed. The highest of terrestrial satellites sit in a geostationary orbit of 22,400 miles (36,000 kilometers).
- Satellite Features: Each of satellites weighs only 500 pounds (227 kilograms). They were built in-house in Redmond, near Seattle in US. Their weight makes them the heaviest payload carried aloft by SpaceX to date.
- Starlink’s constellation: will become operational once over 800 satellites will be activated, which will require at least 12 launches carrying similar payloads. The 60 launched satellites are among the first of a planned 12,000-satellite megaconstellation with aim to provide high-speed internet service from space to customers around the globe.
- Significance: This launch made SpaceX an early forerunner, along with its rival OneWeb, a startup, but way ahead of Amazon’s Project Kuiper, the brainchild of Jeff Bezos.
- The US California-based Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX is a private rocket company of high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. Musk is also chief executive officer (CEO) of automaker Tesla Inc.
- When it comes to rocket launches it is leading the private space race.
- With its Starlink venture the firm is now looking to seize a chunk of future space internet market.
Elon Musk-led SpaceX has successfully launched 64 small satellites into low Earth orbit onboard of its reusable and preflown Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This has set new record in United States of launching satellites in single go. It was third voyage of Falcon 9 rocket, marking another milestone in SpaceX’s cost-cutting reusable rocket technology.
The 64 small satellites included 49 CubeSats and 15 micro-satellites belonging to 34 different clients including public, private and university sources from 17 different countries across the world including South Korea, France and Kazakhstan. The microsatellites weighed few dozen kilograms and CubeSats weighed even smaller. Among launched satellites, one was sculpture called “Orbital Reflector” by artist Trevor Paglen, sent by Nevada Museum of Art and it was not scientific missions.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) holds record for the most satellite launch in single flight. It had launched 104 satellites in one go using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) rocket.
It is private US space agency. It was founded by Elon Musk on May 6, 2002 who is its current CEO of Space X. Its main purpose for its establishment was to reduce cost of space transport and establish human habitation on Mars house. Space X has developed series of Falcon Rockets. To reduce cost of internal transport, the space company has created re-usable rockets. Majority of these rockets are also used in other launches.