Starlink’s V2 satellites are having some issues. On Tuesday, Elon tweeted an explanation for observations that some of the V2 Minis launched last month have changed the altitude and eccentricity of their orbits:
The new technologies: The Starlink V2 Minis are essentially trial runs for technology that will fly on the much larger final V2 fleet of satellites. They come equipped with updated phased array antennas that provide about four times as much capacity per satellite as the first version of Starlink, as well as shiny new argon-powered electric thrusters.
Musk didn’t specify which new tech on the V2 minis is failing.
Pausing launches: SpaceX had two additional V2 launches scheduled this month. Now, though, the company will pivot to launching more V1.5 satellites on those Falcon 9 flights while it works through the issues with V2.