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18 May 2019, 04:59 | Edward Lowe
SpaceX To Launch 60 Starlink Satellites For Speedy Space Internet Service
SpaceX floor groups at Cape Canaveral transferred a Falcon 9 rocket to launch pad 40 and rotated the booster vertical Monday for a preflight maintain-down firing, forward of a liftoff scheduled for Wednesday evening carrying 60 satellites into orbit for the corporate's deliberate Starlink broadband constellation.
SpaceX's projection for Starlink puts its usable capacity higher than any single geostationary communications satellite in orbit today, and would significantly outpace any other publicly known low-Earth-orbit constellation under development. Even in the US, a quarter of Americans in rural areas say access to high-speed internet is a major problem, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2018.
SpaceX asked for and received USA market access for a constellation numbering nearly 12,000 satellites.
Musk said SpaceX plans to launch roughly 60 satellites at a time as it builds out its constellation.
SpaceX is footing the bill for the launch, which Musk says is experimental in nature.
Furthermore, there is concern from some quarters that the upcoming launches of large satellite batches by SpaceX-and others pursuing similar aims, such as European company OneWeb-could increase the risk of unsafe collisions and space debris.
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SpaceX made that call just seconds before beginning its launch livestream at 10:45 p.m. EDT (0245 GMT). "There's a small possibility that all of these satellites will not work", the SpaceX founder said, according to Ars Technica.
Not only does it pose a threat to space travel, but technologies such as mobile phones, television, Global Positioning System and weather related services also rely on satellites, so a cataclysmic series of crashes could pose a threat to our already over-reliance for satellites. In the next six years, 4409 satellites will be launched SpaceX.
"Each company has to launch a certain number of satellites to provide commercial services", said Tom Stroup, president of the Satellite Industry Association in Washington. The Starlink team is now led by Mark Juncosa, SpaceX's VP of vehicle engineering and an eight-year veteran of the company. After 24 launches, Starlink would cover most of the world's population, and 30 launches would be sufficient to cover the planet, Juncosa said.
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Elon Musk does not only sell expensive fancy cars. The reason for launching so many satellites is that those in lower orbits do not provide as much coverage as those positioned at higher altitudes. After an orbit has enough satellites, it will be linked to the ground terminals on Earth.
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