In the early hours of Friday, SpaceX launched the first 60 Starlink spacecraft. This is a project that intends to provide internet service from space, especially to sites where this is still not enough and affordable.
After two failed attempts last week, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully started this Thursday at 10:30 p.m. (03:30 p.m. in Lisbon). The launch took place at Cape Canaveral, California. About an hour later, the 227kg satellites were launched into orbit at an altitude of 550km from Earth.
These satellites will be supported by the Hall boosters, and their energy will be extracted by a single solar panel. This will form a network (Starlink) capable of providing fast and affordable internet services across the globe.
SpaceX wants to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites by mid 2020
These are the first 60 satellites of the 12,000 that SpaceX intends to bring into orbit by the middle of 2020. According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, when 800 Starlink satellites are in orbit the service will have “significant operational capability.” At 1000 satellites, SpaceX is already making the project “economically viable”.
Everything will depend on the success of this first mission, but the goal of SpaceX is to make during this year another three to seven releases. There is a probability that some of these satellites will fail, given the new technology. However, Elon Musk says that everything was done to “maximize the likelihood of success”.
This project aims to take high-speed internet to sites where it is scarce or nil. Elon Musk’s goal is to start marketing the service between the end of this year and the beginning of 2020.