SpaceX to launch 60 satellites to offer internet from space

Elon Musk Shows Off 60 Starlink Satellites Stacked Inside A Falcon Rocket

The first 60 satellites will be dropped off at an altitude of approximately 270 miles (440 kilometers) above the Earth, if everything runs smoothly, and then they will gently propel themselves out to an orbit of about 340 miles (550 kilometers).

SpaceX launch scrubbed tonight.

Dwell protection of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Pressure Station in Florida with 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband community.

SpaceX has launched demonstration satellites, but those planned to be sent aloft this week are the first real Starlink satellites. That would require about 1,800 satellites to have full global coverage. Last month, CNBC reported that Badyal is now leading Amazon's Project Kuiper, which plans to put more than 3,000 satellites in low Earth orbit. And rival OneWeb, which has attracted billions in investment from companies including SoftBank and Qualcomm, already has the first six satellites of its constellation up. Until recently, regulatory filings with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission have been the main way information about SpaceX's constellation was made publicly available. SpaceX has indicated plans to launch up to 12,000 satellites eventually as part of the booming NewSpace era.

This will be the second Starlink launch SpaceX has performed. In February, Airbus SE-backed OneWeb launched its own clutch of satellites, while LeoSat Enterprises and Canada's Telesat are also working to build data networks.

Musk provided a photo of the satellites packed inside the nose cone of the rocket awaiting launch.

"It's a heck of a lot of launches".

SpaceX has competition from other heavily funded companies. As many as 2,000 satellites will be launched per year, he said.

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If SpaceX is successful Thursday, the launch would mark the largest test yet for any company attempting such a project.

SpaceX was poised to launch 60 satellites to space Wednesday night, a significant step forward in the race to provide Internet service across the globe from a constellation of satellites whizzing around the planet. The satellites in OneWeb's first-generation constellation of 600 operational satellites and 50 spares are created to carry 10 gigabits per second each, meaning the system should presumably offer 6 terabits per second of aggregate capacity (OneWeb did not respond to a May 14 request to confirm that number). He said the satellites are all "production design", unlike the two so- called "Tintin" demonstration satellites the company launched past year. "It's extremely sparse", Musk said, according to The Verge.

Elon Musk does not only sell expensive fancy cars.

Nicholas Johnson, the chief scientist for Orbital Debris, said: "Any of these debris has the potential for seriously disrupting or terminating the mission of operational spacecraft in low Earth orbit". Later generations would include intersatellite links and other upgrades, he said, though he didn't give a timeframe for when those would be introduced.

Musk said SpaceX would begin approaching customers later this year or next year.

In contrast to traditional dish antennas, electronically steered systems can track two or more satellites simultaneously, meaning no loss in connection when satellites rise and set over the horizon. "There's a small possibility that all of these satellites will not work", the SpaceX founder said, according to Ars Technica.

Terminals will be the size of a pizza box. The antennas could also be used to connect cars, he said.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. "We can use the revenue from Starlink to fund Starship".

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