Advanced Television

SpaceX: Triple launch including Eutelsat

April 2, 2024

SpaceX engineers had a busy March 30th. They successfully launched Eutelsat’s latest satellite (36D) from Cape Kennedy and managed another launch a couple of hours later which carried their own first batch of Starlink broadband satellites for the weekend. But a planned third launch (from California) was scrubbed because of bad weather.

The third launch from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base was rescheduled because of bad weather. The two Florida launches successfully landed on their waiting floating drone ships downrange.

The third flight, the 21st Starlink mission this year will take 23 broadband second-generation craft on their way to a 53 degree low Earth orbit. But other records were broken, not least the 30th flight this year of a Falcon 9 rocket and the 325th successful Falcon launch overall.

Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell and close observer of SpaceX activity says there are 5,677 Starlink satellites currently on orbit, out of the 6,079 total launched. The latest Starlink mission added 23 more to those totals.

Last week, SpaceX noted that Argentina became the 72nd country globally to allow the service to be accessed. On March 8th, the company shared data it said shows the progress towards lowering its latency, “with the goal of [less than] 20 millisecond (ms) latency.”

“Over the past month, we have meaningfully reduced median and worst-case latency for users around the world. In the US alone, we reduced median latency by more than 30 percent, from 48.5ms to 33ms during hours of peak usage,” SpaceX said in a statement. “Worst-case peak hour latency (p99) has dropped by over 60 per cent, from over 150ms to less than 65ms. Outside of the US, we have also reduced median latency by up to 25 per cent and worst-case latencies by up to 35 per cent.”

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