This week, SpaceX will again try to reach the First 60 members from its mega-appellation Starlink satellite-Internet.
If all goes well, satellite 60 will be launched at the top of a Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday night (May 23) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida, SpaceX announced today (20 November). may).
You can watch the takeoff – which will also include an attempt to land a rocket on a ship at sea – here on Space.com when the time comes, courtesy of SpaceX or directly through the intermediary of the space flight company.
The launch of the Starlink satellites was originally scheduled for May 15, but this attempt was canceled due to strong winds. SpaceX called another try the next night to update the software and perform additional checks.
SpaceX envisions the Starlink network providing affordable Internet access to people around the world. But that will not happen immediately. About 400 satellites will be needed to provide "minor" coverage and 800 for "moderate" coverage, said SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk.
We are now targeting May 23rd for the launch of Starlink from Pad 40 in Florida.May 20, 2019
The constellation may well exceed these numbers and include up to 12,000 satellites, said company representatives.
Thursday's launch will be the second to launch the Starlink spacecraft. In February 2018, a Falcon 9 put into orbit two craft prototypes called Tintin A and Tintin B. (The duo flew as a secondary payload and the main satellite in flight was the Paz Earth-imaging radar satellite.)
Starlink is a key element of SpaceX's ambitious exploration plans. The company plans to use the revenues of the constellation to develop and build its Spacecraft and Super Heavy Rocket, designed to take people from Mars and other distant destinations.
Several other companies also see high profit potential in large satellite Internet networks. For example, OneWeb and Amazon plan to build their own mega-symbols in the near future.
Mike Wall's book on the search for extraterrestrial life, "Over there"(Grand Central Publishing, 2018, illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.