SpaceX (Elon Musk) recently received approval from the FCC to launch 4,425 satellites into space to build a low earth orbit network to sell home Internet. There will be an important test this Wednesday. According to a Musk Tweet, “Much will likely go wrong on this 1st mission.” Also, 6 more launches of 60 sats are needed for minor coverage, 12 for moderate. There will be more details on the day of launch, currently tracking to Wednesday.
They are production design because they are not like the Tintin ones but these are still not part of the final design so they’re mostly test satellites. They lack a few things that will be present in the final design. There’s a reason why SpaceX calls this mission “STARLINK v0.9”
Despite using the same exact Falcon fairing that has been standard for years, SpaceX has managed to cram 60 spacecraft – each weighing around 200-300 kg (440-660 lbs)- into just the bottom two-thirds of the fairing, leaving a considerable amount of unused volume for future expansion.
According to President and COO Gwynne Shotwell, Starlink v0.9 satellites are extremely close to SpaceX’s true final design. However, they are still considered by SpaceX to be a “test batch” of satellites and do not have the optical (laser) interlinks that will be a critical part of Starlink’s unique constellation design. The mission is currently scheduled to launch at 10:30 pm EDT (02:30 UTC), May 15th and will have a flexible four-hour window. The mission will be preceded by a routine Falcon 9 static fire no earlier than (NET) May 13th.