SpaceX now operates the world's biggest commercial satellite network


It was then utilized for two missions in 2019 delivering 10 Iridium satellites to orbit in January and 60 Starlink satellites in May.

The wing, which operates Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Eastern Range on the Florida Space Coast, supported 18 launches in 2019 and projects as many as 48 in 2020, 45th Space Wing spokesman Jim Williams told SpaceNews.

The launch was broadcast live by SpaceX, a company created by tycoon Elon Musk, who is also chief executive of Tesla.

The action is expected to start at about 2.04am GMT (9.04pm EST). Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

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SpaceX successfully launched another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit on Monday evening. With thousands of satellites in orbit working with "ground transceivers", Starlink can provide a global internet network to reach areas previously afflicted with "unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable" internet.

DON'T MISS Asteroid danger: 100% certainty of impact warns space expert [INTERVIEW] Hubble snaps galaxy "like a portal to another dimension" [PICTURES] What is the mysterious dark vortex NASA found on Neptune? One of the 60 spacecraft launched tonight was given the darkening treatment to see how the satellite's performance will be affected. Several rivals have the same ambition, including London-based startup OneWeb and giant USA retailer Amazon, whose Project Kuiper is far less advanced.

Starlink will provide high-speed, relatively low-latency broadband internet connectivity to customers on the ground, starting with those in the USA and Canada, with service potentially becoming available as early as later this year.

2020 will be a busy year for SpaceX.

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Why is SpaceX Starlink so controversial?

Starlink-another manifestation of Musk's cosmic ambitions-is a proposed internet satellite constellation that is, according to SpaceX, "the world's most advanced broadband internet system".

A special coating on the bottom of Starlink satellites could reduce the glare but how it will affect performance is unknown. The physics behind that deployment will allow the satellites to spread out in a 180-mile-high (290-kilometer-high) orbit.

"It'll be some trial and error but we'll fix it".

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