Sci-tech

Elon Musk offers glimpse of SpaceX's 60 internet satellites ahead of launch

Elon Musk offers glimpse of SpaceX's 60 internet satellites ahead of launch”

Just imagine a network 12,000 satellites flying in low Earth orbit, sending Internet connectivity to anywhere on Earth.

Musk said late on Monday that a static-fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket had completed successfully, paving the way for a possible launch on Wednesday.

The demo satellites to be launched on 15 May will be "test satellites" that don't have some of the features (inter-satellite links, for one) intended for the final Starlink satellites. SpaceX eventually aims to loft thousands of Starlink satellites, which will provide relatively cheap internet access to people around the world.

SpaceX's internet-satellite megaconstellation will start taking shape very soon.

SpaceX's FCC approvals are contingent on the company being able to launch half of all these satellites within the next six years.

Given that SpaceX is not exclusively dedicated to launching Starlink satellites, having various other contracts for commercial launches, it would be fair to estimate that Starlink is still years, possibly as long as 10 years or more, away from being fully deployed.

Now the company is preparing to launch the Starlink project in earnest.

The SpaceX boss tweeted a shot of the flat-packed satellites flat-packed in the rocket's nose cone. This first batch of 60 will also be used for testing, but will do more to pave the way for the constellation that the company hopes will be sufficiently deployed by 2024. The flight is now scheduled for May 15th out of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

More details about the mission itself will be released on launch day but Elon Musk has stated that "much will likely go wrong" during this maiden flight.

If everything goes according to plan, the first 60 Starlink satellites will be launched into space on Wednesday. But based on recent events, the CEO admitted it might not be his lucky number anymore.

The dream of high-speed internet delivered from space may be realized by Starlink, but it's going to take a lot of work.



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