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SpaceX’s Laser Agenda Behind Halting Starlink Launches

For almost 2 to 3 months now, the space tech giant SpaceX’s hasn’t launched any of its Starlink internet satellites. As the company is not the type to slow down technology, its new shift of focus on lasers explains the pause.

SpaceX’s last launch of one of its Starlink satellites batches into the low Earth orbit on June 30. Ever since then, the company has not declared the next constellation mission. As launched Starlink satellites relatively frequently during the first half of 2021, the sudden halt raised questions. All the speculations were clarified by Gwynne Shotwell, President of SpaceX. Shotwell explained the intent of the pause during the 36th annual Space Symposium on Tuesday, August 24.

Shotwell stated that SpaceX’s is working on incorporating lasers into spacecraft, justifying the reasonable turn of events. The company is currently flying several laser terminals in space and will be integrating lasers in all of its Starlink satellites. As SpaceX’s aims to launch the next batch of Starlink satellites fully integrated with lasers, the company has stopped the launches for two months.

The laser terminals that are the focal point have been previously integrated within a batch of Starlink satellites in January 2021. The primary role of these laser crosslinks is in delivering information from one satellite to another, offering new means of communication. SpaceX’s anticipates that the effective establishment of the technology will eliminate the need to have ground stations on Earth with every launched batch of satellites.

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