SpaceX Starlink launch success kicks off Elon Musk's satellite internet aspirations

CNET | 5/23/2019 | Jackson Ryan
mel4mel4 (Posted by) Level 4
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Night launches should be mandatory if these are the types of scenes we get. This image shows a previous SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX has officially entered the satellite broadband race, delivering 60 Starlink satellites to orbit via a Falcon 9 rocket. The workhorse rocket achieved liftoff at 7:30 p.m. PT Thursday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Week - Delivery - Starlink - Satellites - Weather

Originally scheduled for last week, the first delivery of the Starlink satellites was scrubbed twice, one due to bad weather and a second time to "maximize mission success". After those hurdles were cleared, Falcon 9 blasted through the dark Florida coast and headed to space with a typically dazzling lift off.

Rockets, man.

Falcon - Booster - Course - Love - Atlantic

The Falcon 9 booster successfully landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, after being used in two previous SpaceX launches.

An achievement, sure, but for the company's future global internet aspirations, the successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites to orbit is the far bigger story.

Starlink - Broadband - Customers - Globe - Service

Starlink aims to provide satellite broadband to customers across the globe. Eventually, the service will form a net of satellites around the Earth, featuring some 12,000 space robots in a constellation that leaves no corner of the planet without internet. At approximately 8:32 p.m. PT, the first 60 of these satellites were released from the payload bay of the Falcon 9, 273 miles (440 kilometers) above Earth. Small boosters will see the satellites push out to an orbit of 342 miles (550 kilometers) in coming days.

The satellites, which look like flat-panel TVs, flicked out of the payload bay at once. There are no deployment mechanisms on board and so the pack of 60 slowly float away from each other like a deck of cards spilling out of a hand. Each satellite weighs 500 pounds apiece and contains...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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