SpaceX launches Starlink satellites
The company has released 60 more satellites as part of its ongoing development of a global high speed internet network.
SpaceX has launched 60 mini satellites to form part of a network aimed at providing global internet coverage. The launch is the second stage of a programme designed to bring the network online - 60 satellites were previously launched in May.
11 November a Falcon 9 Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Carrying the compact flat-panel Starlink satellites. Each weighed 260kg, making the heaviest payload launched to date, according to a tweet from SpaceX.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX plans to launch thousands of Starlink satellites into orbit to create a network capable of providing high-speed internet service worldwide. This is initially anticipated to roll out across northern US and Canada, with the network ultimately expected to cover all populated areas of the globe within 24 launches.
SpaceX staff joined in celebration as the Falcon 9 first-stage booster rocket landed back on the droneship, Of Course I Still Love You, floating in the Atlantic. This is the fourth launch and recovery for the booster rocket. "These boosters are designed to be used 10 times. Let's turn it around for a fifth, guys," SpaceX's launch commentator said.
This is the first time the company used a previously flown nose cone operationally; in a move to cut cost, increase sustainability and increase operational efficiency, SpaceX has been designing and manufacturing rocket parts that can be reused.
The rocket was due to reach higher altitudes than the previous launch in May. SpaceX has expressed concern around one of the 60 satellites preventing the rocket from being able to manoeuvre further than the previous 280km orbit, in which case it would have been ordered to commence reentry. SpaceX explained in a tweet, “Watching one sat that may not orbit raise; if not, 100% of its components will quickly burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.”
In September a near collision with a European Space Agency (ESA) satellites caused the ESA to correct its path before the collision occurred. SpaceX has since corrected the issue causing the near collision.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”