Local USVI News

Not Aliens, Just Satellites – SpaceX Launch on Monday Night Lights Up Skies in the Northern Caribbean

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If you were confused by the light show in the western skies on Monday night, you can rest easy. It wasn’t aliens beginning the intergalactic war, nor was it the second coming of the Savior. It was SpaceX, launching a batch of new Starlink satellites into orbit.

At 6:13 p.m. on February 27, the Falcon 9, a 230-foot rocket, blasted off from SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. On board were 21 next-generation “V2 Mini” satellites, which according to SpaceX will provide “more bandwidth with increased reliability” to Starlink customers. 

The company also said that these satellites will be less of a hindrance to the astronomy community, due to their “combination of dielectric mirror film, which reflects sunlight away from the Earth, and the SpaceX-developed, low-reflectivity black paint.” 

Shortly after the launch, which lit up the evening sky causing wonderment and concern for residents in the northern Caribbean, the Falcon 9’s first stage boosters landed safely on a drone ship out in the Atlantic Ocean, while the second stage continued on, tracing a path between the east coast of Florida and the Bahamas.

Over the next few days, the satellites will reach their operational orbits and fan out into their final positions.

This post was orig­i­nally pub­lished on this site

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