SpaceX has released a photo showing a Falcon 9 payload fairing with 60 Starlink v0.9 satellites the company aims to launch by May 15 aboard the company-built rocket, Teslarati reported Saturday.
The satellites, weighing around 485 to 661 pounds, are built as part of the company“™s planned broadband satellite megaconstellation spanning up to 12K Starlink units.
Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX and a 2019 Wash100 winner, said the company is closing to completing a final design of the satellite technology.
She added the satellites do not contain crucial optical or laser interlinks and will therefore operate as a “test batch."
The Federal Communications Commission approved last month the company“™s request to lower the orbit of 1,600 proposed Starlink spacecraft to address space hazards and extend the distance between competing satellites.
SpaceX plans to conduct static fire tests of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle by May 13.