SpaceX successfully implemented its new 53 fragment Starlink satellites in orbit on Saturday, November 13. The Falcon 9 rocket, with satellites aboard, lifted off at around 6 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. SpaceX confirmed the deployment of all its satellites via Twitter, just minutes after the Falcon 9 first stage thruster landed on the ‘Just Read The Instructions’ drone.
With the successful deployment, SpaceX has brought the number of Starlink satellites in orbit from 1,791 to 1,844. This launch also suffered a few hiccups, as it was originally scheduled for Friday, November 12, but was delayed a day as the weather was only 60% favorable. Starlink is an Internet broadband company owned by SpaceX, which aims to provide high-speed Internet service around the world.
Meanwhile, the Falcon 9 (B1062) rocket helped SpaceX resume the deployment of satellites to expand the broadband constellation, something that came to a complete halt since May this year. On the other hand, the rocket also marked its fourth Falcon 9 mission and SpaceX’s overall in 2021. This deployment is an important step for the Elon Musk-owned company to become the leader in the satellite internet supply business. Furthermore, it would also accelerate the arrival of Starlink services to India, as Sanjay Bhargava, Country Director of Starlink India recently announced that the company has officially registered its business here.
Starlink and its future in India
Bhargava, through a LinkedIn post, had revealed that the company, called Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited (SSCPL), now has a 100% owned subsidiary in India and can now apply for licenses and bank accounts in the country. It is worth mentioning that India is considered one of the largest potential markets for Starlink and the company plans to initially focus on serving rural areas of India. It will provide 100 Starlink hardware kits for free, including 20 for schools in Delhi and 80 for those in rural areas around the Indian capital.
In addition, SpaceX will also identify 12 rural districts and three from North, South, East and West of India will be selected. By the end of 2022, SpaceX plans to plant 2 million Starlink devices in the country, of which 1.60,000 will be in rural communities.