TWIRL 101: SpaceX to launch Starlink satellite with anti-reflective coating


Paul Hill


Jan 21, 2023 13:33 EST

TWIRL logo in front of rocket launch

We have several satellite launches this week, we’ll see the launch of the Mitsubishi H-IIA rocket which is a bit unusual and SpaceX plans to launch new Starlink satellites with a special anti-reflective coating that will make the satellites less astronomic. can prevent

Monday, January 23

  • The first launch this week is from Rocket Lab, which will send an Electron rocket into space carrying several small radio frequency monitoring satellites from radio frequency geospatial analytics provider Hawkeye 360. The satellites being launched into space are called Hawk 6A/B/C and the mission is named “Virginia is for Launch Lovers”. The satellite will provide monitoring of air, land and sea transportation and help in emergency situations. The mission launches at 11:00 PM UTC from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island. A stream will be available. Rocket Lab website.

Tuesday 24 January

  • In the second mission of the week, SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 carrying 54 Gen2 Starlink “Mini” satellites. If you use a satellite tracking app, these satellites will be designated Starlink Group 5-2 if you want to find them. While the apps will show the satellites’ positions, it can be difficult to see if SpaceX has applied an anti-reflective coating to them. It’s unclear how much this would reduce their reflectivity, but it could allay the concerns of astronomers who have complained about the satellites ruining the night sky. The mission will take off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 9:52 AM UTC Company website.

Wednesday, January 25

  • The final mission we have lined up for the week will see Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA rocket launch the IGS-Radar 7 reconnaissance satellite for the Japanese Ministry of Defense. In the payload name IGS is short for Information Gathering Satellite. It will be operated by the Cabinet Satellite Information Center and will help strengthen Japan’s national defense and monitor civil natural disasters. It is scheduled to lift off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 1:20 PM UTC.


  • Last week’s first launch was Wednesday, a Falcon 9 launched by SpaceX carrying the US Space Force’s GPS III satellite.

  • The second and final launch was also Falcon 9 but this time carrying 51 Starlink satellites.

That’s it for this week, be sure to check in next time.

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