By Brad Dison
If you look up in the sky tonight (July 14), you will see something out of this world. StarLink’s satellite deployment will be visible to the naked eye tonight at 8:51 p.m for about 5 minutes. To see the deployment, look towards the northwestern horizon.
On Wednesday night, the deployment first appeared in what looked like someone shining a dim flashlight straight up into the sky. The beam continued to brighten until individual dots became visible. Each dot was a V2 mini StarLink internet satellite. As the satellites moved across the night sky, the distance between them widened. The satellites moved directly overhead from the northwest to southeast. Within four or five minutes, the satellites disappeared into the night sky.
SpaceX launched its first internet satellites in May 2019. In February 2023, StarLink, SpaceX’s internet company, launched a Falcon 9 rocket with a payload of its new V2 mini internet satellites. Just over an hour after liftoff, StarLink released the satellites into Low Earth Orbit. Tonight’s deployment will add 20-30 more satellites into the StarLink satellite internet constellation.
SpaceX posted on Twitter, “V2 minis include key technologies — such as more powerful phased array antennas and the use of E-band for backhaul — which will allow Starlink to provide ~4x more capacity per satellite than earlier iterations.”