SpaceX launched 60 mini-satellites to improve global internet coverage


SpaceX triumphantly released 60 Starlink satellites into space with the help of Falcon 9 rocket Monday morning.

For the first time, fairing halves recovered over the Atlantic Ocean from a previous SpaceX launch will be reused.

SpaceX sent the first batch of Starlink satellites into space earlier this year as a test. SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk has said the organization will require at least 400 Starlink satellites in orbit to offer "minor" broadband coverage, with up to 800 required for "moderate" coverage. It will be able to provide internet to populations who now have little to no connectivity, including those in rural areas where existing service is too expensive or too unreliable.

This mission will set up this new batch of 60 Starlink satellites in orbit, which feature increased spectrum capacity and construction that features 100% "demisability", which means that at the end of their operating life they'll burn up completely upon controlled re-entry to ensure there's nothing left behind once they're no longer in use.

SpaceX isn't the only one going after that ability with competitors including OneWeb, TeleSat and even Amazon eyeing the market.

SpaceX's Starlink project aims to build a massive constellation of broadband internet satellites to provide constant high-speed internet access to users around the world.

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For Monday's mission, the SpaceX droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" will be stationed several hundred miles northeast of Cape Canaveral to serve as a landing pad for the Falcon 9's first stage. Its third launch was on February 22, sending an Indonesian communications satellites into orbit and the Israeli Beresheet spacecraft toward an eventual crash landing on the moon.

The compact flat-panel satellites - weighing suitable 575 pounds (260 kilograms) every - will be a part of the opposite 60 launched in Would possibly perchance presumably well simply.

Starlink is targeted to offer service in parts of the USA and Canada after six launches, rapidly expanding to global coverage of the populated world after 24 launches.

Densely packed together in the payload fairing are 60 Starlink communications satellites. Instead of building their constellations in geostationary orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth, where traditional communications satellites operate, SpaceX and its rivals plan to build deploy their networks almost 20,000 miles farther down in so-called low Earth orbit. Musk says the team is looking at ways to reduce the albedo (or reflectivity) of the satellites in future launches.

SpaceX is expected to bring into space about 12,000 starlink satellites by 2024, and it has revealed a bigger plan to launch 30,000 additional ones, bringing the total to 42,000.