Saturday, 07 December, 2019

SpaceX launches 60 'Starlink' satellites for cheaper global Internet

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket rises from its launch pad sending 60 satellites into orbit SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket rises from its launch pad sending 60 satellites into orbit
Noel Elliott | 17 November, 2019, 00:39

And for a special bonus trick, Elon Musk's space company carried out Monday's mission - the launch of its latest batch of broadband satellites - using a recycled fairing, or nose cone, a first.

Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida came on time at 9:56 a.m. ET (6:56 a.m. PT).

These satellites are being put in place because Space X is developing a broadband internet system for consumers around the world.

Today's event will be marking the very first time SpaceX has flown a Falcon booster four times. SpaceX is still aiming to catch both halves of the fairing in the next hour using two netted ships named "Ms. Tree" and "Ms. Chief". This is the second batch of orbiting satellites that will provide global internet coverage. For the unaware, the Starlink project is CEO Elon Musk's ambition to create a constellation of satellites that would provide high-speed broadband internet access to every corner of the Earth.

Like other astronomers, McDowell became anxious about the brightness of the satellites, which they said can be easily spotted from Earth even without using special equipment like telescopes and binoculars.

SpaceX isn't the only one going after that ability with competitors including OneWeb, TeleSat and even Amazon eyeing the market. Following a successful launch and first stage separation, the Falcon 9 first stage booster touched down safely on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship.

Roger Stone, Trump Ally, Found Guilty of Lying to Congress, Witness Tampering
Prosecutors said Stone had also threatened Credico's therapy dog, Bianca, saying he was "going to take that dog away from you". Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump's former chief strategist, August 19, 2018, in Washington .

SpaceX launched the first 60 "production design" Starlink satellites in May, representing a small fraction of the 12,000 the Federal Communications Commission has approved Starlink to operate in space.

Its mini-satellites will orbit at relatively low altitude (550 kilometers, or 340 miles, for the first ones), allowing quick transmission times.

This SpaceX image shows the 60 Starlink satellites for a November 11, 2019 launch in stacked configuration ahead of launch.

SpaceX plans to continue launching Starlink satellites in batches and aims to provide service to parts of the northern US and Canada next year, according to Starlink's website. Although, not everyone is happy about the growth of the Starlink constellation - astronomers worry Starlink could interfere with ground-based observations and other satellites. 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.

SpaceX delegates have said the organization has found a way to guarantee that its satellites can be deorbited in the event that they're not working appropriately.

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