Technology 2 min read

SpaceX Launches the First Batch of Starlink Internet Satellites

SpaceX's Starlink Internet project is underway. With 60 satellites being launched into orbit, the foundations have been set for a global Internet system accessible from anywhere on Earth.

Facon 9 Heavy | Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Facon 9 Heavy | Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk‘s dream to bring fast and reliable Internet connection to most remote corners of the world is starting to take shape. On Thursday, SpaceX successfully launched the first batch of satellites for Musk’s Starlink Internet constellation.

The 60 Starlink satellites were launched 10:30 PM E.T. last night onboard a Falcon 9 rocket from a launch pad in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At 11:30 PM E.T., SpaceX confirmed that the deployment of the payload stack was initiated during the second stage of the launch, with each satellite being dropped into orbit.

The launch was live-streamed online but was cut off right after the second stage began. At the moment, neither Musk nor SpaceX has issued any updates about the deployment. In a statement, Musk was quoted as saying:

“It’s possible that some of these satellites may not work, and in fact, it’s possible that [there’s a] small possibility that all of the satellites will not work. But these are a great design and we’ve done everything we can to maximize the probability of success.”

The Starlink Internet Constellation

The launch of these 60 satellites marks the beginning of the Starlink Internet constellation. Together, the batch is expected to deliver one terabit per second of usable capacity and three terabits per second at maximum capacity.

Each Starlink satellite weighs 227 kilograms, bringing the total payload weight to 13.6 metric tons, making it the heaviest SpaceX mission to date.

The launch is expected to deploy all satellites at an altitude of 440 kilometers in low Earth orbit. Once deployed, each satellite will have to use their electric propulsion thrusters to reach their designated operational positions at an altitude of 550 kilometers.

According to Musk, it would require six more launches to deploy around 400 satellites into orbit and provide “some” Internet connectivity to ground-based users. A dozen more launches would enable “significant” connectivity and 24 launches to bring near-global Internet service.

Read More: What The New SpaceX Defense Contract Means For The Starlink Project

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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