SpaceX may have to deorbit some of its new Starlink V2 Mini satellites

"We're experiencing some issues," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted.
Chris Young
Starlink V2 Mini satellites.
Starlink V2 Mini satellites.

SpaceX / Twitter 

SpaceX's newly-launched Starlink V2 Mini satellites appear to be experiencing issues, Elon Musk explained on Twitter this week.

The SpaceX CEO explained that some satellites would likely have to be deorbited to burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

Last month, SpaceX launched 21 of the new satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket as part of a test campaign ahead of the launch of its next-generation Starlink 2.0 satellites.

SpaceX's new Starlink V2 Mini satellites

Despite the name, SpaceX's Starlink V2 Mini satellites are larger than the company's standard Starlink satellites, which it has been lifting to space in large batches since 2019.

SpaceX's full-size Starlink V2 satellites will weigh 1.25 tons (1,130 kilograms) and be able to send service directly to cellphones, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. 

However, the private space firm may be facing a slight obstacle on the road to the commercial launch of its V2 satellites. On Wednesday, Musk wrote "lot of new technology in Starlink V2, so we’re experiencing some issues, as expected." He also explained that some satellites "will be deorbited, others will be tested thoroughly."

SpaceX readies for the launch of Starship and Starlink 2.0

Musk wrote his tweet in response to commentary from experts and satellite trackers who had noticed that some of the V2 Minis were lowering their altitudes while others were in a more eccentric orbit.

"I think they are debugging some issue with the new sats, and we’ll see in a few weeks if they resume orbit raising,” Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, wrote on Twitter.

SpaceX must wait for its massive Starship mega-rocket to be operational before launching its full-sized V2 Starlink satellites. In the meantime, it will continue to send more V2 Minis to orbit, with the next launch expected next month, as per a SpaceNews report.

SpaceX is close to performing the first orbital test flight of Starship, with Musk having recently stated the test flight will likely take place in April and will have a roughly 50 percent chance of reaching orbit on its first attempt.,

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