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SpaceX set to launch Starlink Group 6-58 with anti-reflective coating - TWIRL #164

TWIRL logo in front of Falcon 9

We’ve got a quiet week coming up with just one launch, a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying Starlink satellites to a low Earth orbit. The recap section this week was a bit more eventful - be sure to check out the Long March 6C take off on its first-ever launch.

Monday, 13 May

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9
  • When: 12:11 - 4:11 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 rocket, taking off from Cape Canaveral, to send up a batch of 23 Starlink satellites to a low Earth orbit. The batch of satellites are known as Starlink Group 6-58, you can use this identifier on apps like ISS Detector to spot these exact satellites in the night’s sky.

Like most other missions of this kind, SpaceX will be using a reused first stage of the rocket and will attempt to land it again for further reuse, thus cutting costs. The company has nailed this process now so recovery of the first stage should be successful.

The Starlink satellites have caused a furor over the years with professional astronomers complaining that these bright satellites leave ghastly streaks across the sky while they’re trying to snap images. To help reduce this problem, SpaceX has been using anti-reflective coatings on its satellites for a while now and this batch will be equipped with this coating too.

These Starlink satellites make up a massive constellation of satellites which SpaceX uses to beam internet back down to Earth. The Starlink internet service costs more than many broadband packages but not lots more and can be helpful especially in areas with poor broadband.


  • The first launch we got last week took place on Monday. SpaceX used a Falcon 9 rocket to launch a batch of Starlink satellites. The first stage of the Falcon 9 performed a landing so that it can be reused in future missions.
  • Next up, we got the first launch of the Long March 6C carrying four satellites, including Neptune-01. This vehicle is a two-stage liquid-fueled rocket developed by the China Aerospace and Technology Corporation (CASC).
  • The first Starlink mission this week was dubbed Starlink 161, also this week we had the Starlink 162 mission where satellites were launched and the first stage of the rocket performed a landing.
  • The next mission was back in China when a Long March 3B was launched carrying the Smart SkyNet-1 01 satellite from Xichang, China. This satellite is a medium-orbit broadband communication satellite and is part of the Smart Skynet network of eight satellites in a 20,000 kilometre altitude orbit.
  • Finally, SpaceX launched Starlink 163 carrying 20 Starlink satellites to a low Earth orbit and landing the first stage of the Falcon 9.

That’s it for this week, check in next time!

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