Elon Musk's SpaceX on Monday launched 60 more Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit, bringing the company's Starlink satellite broadband internet service closer to its planned mid-2020 go-live date for the USA and Canada.
SpaceX is launching 60 Starlink Satellites Monday (Nov. 11) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Current internet satellites struggle to provide fast coverage because many are in very high geostationary orbits-around 22,000 miles above the Earth's equator-meaning that data takes a relatively long time to travel between the surface and back, The Verge reported. It was its heaviest payload to date, first re-flight of a faring and first Falcon 9 to fly a fourth mission, according to SpaceX.
SpaceX says its satellite constellation will be operational for Canada and the northern U.S. by next year.
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To that end, the company has also put considerable effort into recovering the fairings that shield the payload during launch, going so far as to try catching the halves of the nose cone using a barge equipped with a giant net.
SpaceX has a vision of blanketing the world with Internet coverage from satellites operating in space. Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and chief executive eventually wants to have thousands of these Starlink satellites floating around in orbit, as the plan is to offer the world a global high-speed internet connection everywhere.
The rocket company will be able to launch a global Starlink satellite broadband service after 24 additional launches, at which point the North American service is scheduled to be available. The spaceship released the load into orbit and made a successful touchdown on the drone ship dubbed 'Of Course I Still Love You'. The compact flat-panel satellites - around 260kg each - will join 60 launched in May.
SpaceX successfully launched a fresh batch of Starlink satellites and deployed them into their intended target orbit.
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In the mission portrayal for the today's launch, SpaceX states that Starlink will start commercial internet services after only six launches (with around 360 satellites in orbit) by offering broadband coverage to clients "in parts of the USA and Canada".
Starlink satellites are capable of tracking on-orbit debris and autonomously avoiding a collision. The satellites will be deployed into a 280 km orbit following SpaceX's acquirement of a Special Temporal Authority (STA) given to them by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
However, 5% of a Starlink tet satellite's components are likely to survive the impact of re-entry. In the days after launch, those satellites could be seen as streaks in the night sky, and that's likely to be the case this time as well.
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