Starlink has just filed a modification to its FCC filing. While the number of satellites remains the same (29988 vs 30000), the filing changes the orbits: from an original 85 planes, the amendment gos to 288 planes in one case to 17950 in the other (!).
There are three reasons for the amendment: better spacing meaning a better QoS, more satellites in SSO to provide more coverage at higher latitudes and the ability to benefit from the Starship for future launches. This would obviously accelerate the deployment of the constellation but also probably bring costs down.
Startship can deliver more than 100tons of payload to LEO, thus it could theoretically take 400 Starlink sats to orbit, instead of 60 for the Falcon9. Starship infor on the SpaceX site
At the end of August 2021, there were more than 1600 Starlink satellites in orbit.
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