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SpaceX preparing to upgrade Starlink satellites to 1.5 and 2.0 variants

A new job posting on SpaceX’s website shares that the company is in the development process of their version 1.5 and 2.0 Starlink satellites. Once the constellation of over 4000 satellites is complete, these satellites will be able to provide high-speed internet access to the entire globe.

The position of Lead Software Engineer, Hardware Test at SpaceX’s Washington satellites production site will “define and lead test software roadmap for Starlink v1.5 and v2.0 production.” Currently, SpaceX has launched just over 1,000 version 0.9 and 1.0 Starlink satellites that can provide coverage for northern latitudes.

SpaceX recently launched 10 Starlink satellites into an orbit over the north and south poles that might show a possible feature to be added to the next generation of satellites. These unique satellites house laser communication hardware to allow the satellites to transfer data in space rather than requiring a connection to a ground station.

Transporter-1 payload with SpaceX Starlink satellites at the bottom with laser communication hardware on edges. Courtesy: SpaceX

It is unsure what improvements these new variants will have, but inter-satellite communications is something SpaceX is planning to add to all of their satellites by 2022. SpaceX has also added visors and a dark coating to newer batches of satellites in order to reduce their visibility while the night sky is being observed by astronomers.

SpaceX’s goal is to launch two Starlink missions each month while launching one already this month and their second of this year planned to launch no earlier than this Sunday from LC-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. There is also another planned Starlink launch for possibly the middle of next week from SLC-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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