SpaceX Successfully Launches Starlink Satellites

SpaceX Successfully Launches Starlink Satellites

These five-dozen satellites, meant to beam high-speed broadband connectivity across the world from space, were loaded inside the Falcon 9 rocket, which blasted off at 10:30 pm EST (around 8.00 am IST) Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX describes Starlink as a satellite network "capable of connecting the globe ... with reliable and affordable broadband internet services". The first was cancelled due to high winds, and the second attempt was scrubbed for additional satellite software checks. Following that, the agency gave a nod to the company to haul more than 7,000 satellites in very-low earth orbit (~340 km). "Always want to do everything we can on the ground to maximise mission success, next launch opportunity in about a week", SpaceX said on Twitter.

The satellites were launched on-board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 3:30am this morning Irish time.

And now here's a video of the actual deployment of 60 Starlink satellites. They will then use onboard propulsion to reach an operational altitude of 550km.

The launch will make it an early forerunner, along with rival OneWeb, a startup, but well ahead of Amazon's Project Kuiper, the brainchild of Musk's space rival Jeff Bezos.

More news: Missouri weather: Tornado kills three people in Golden City

The deployment of the satellites also marked another first for the company. However, due to pressure caused by competition in the market, SpaceX made a decision to expedite things and begin launching the first batch to a lower altitude of 550 kilometers (340 mi).

The 60 satellites flown into space were released into orbit as planned about an hour after Thursday's launch, and the Falcon 9's main-stage reusable booster rocket flew back to Earth for a successful landing on a barge floating in the Atlantic.

According to the company, SpaceX broadband internet should be accessible by devices such as mobile phones from anywhere on Earth at competitive pricing.

The company says it won't know for another day whether the satellites deployed are functioning properly.

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

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