On Thursday night, a Falcon-9 rocket launched packed with 60 satellites capable of giving users on the ground high-speed connections to the internet. SpaceX aims eventually to loft nearly 12,000 spacecraft for its “Starlink” network.
More than one hour later, some 270 miles above Earth, the cluster of satellites — part of a system called Starlink — pushed off from the rocket that carried it to orbit. The individual satellites slowly began to drift toward their singular journeys above the planet.
‘All 60 Starlink satellites online, solar array deployment coming up soon,’ Elon Musk said on Twitter.
According to Mask, for a significant coverage of the earth’s surface with a signal, 12 launches of 60 satellites are required. The first 60 satellites must ensure that all systems are working, and based on their operating experience, a decision will be made to improve further series.
Elon Mask plans to create an orbital constellation that will be able to deliver Internet services to remote areas of the Earth that are not provided with a wired connection. In the future, this satellite constellation should include 12,000 vehicles; during the first phase of the deployment of the constellation, 400 satellites will be launched into near-earth orbit.
SpaceX is one of several commercial outfits with permission to fly an internet mega-constellation. Others include the UK-based start-up OneWeb, which began its roll-out in February with six operational spacecraft.