SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites

SpaceX launch: SpaceX pins high hopes on Starlink internet satellites with Falcon 9 rocket launch today

It was the third attempt by SpaceX to launch the Falcon 9 rocket carrying its first 60 Starlink satellites. It kicked off when the company's towering Falcon 9 rocket blazed toward the sky from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:30 pm ET.

SpaceX will need another six missions, Musk said, before Starlink can provide consistent internet coverage for small parts of the world.

Getting the full constellation up and running will cost in the ballpark of $10 billion dollars, and SpaceX owner Elon Musk has conceded that such efforts have bankrupted others, such as the satellite operator Iridium, reports CNN.

Starlink aims to provide satellite broadband to customers across the globe.

Around an hour and two minutes after takeoff, the payload of Starlink satellites were successfully deployed at an altitude of 440 km above Earth, where they slowly separated from each other as they drifted into space.

The launch, which was meant to take place last week, was delayed twice after inclement weather and additional checks prompted SpaceX to hold off.

The previous heaviest payload for SpaceX was the company's Crew Dragon Demo-1 flight in March 2019, which had a launch mass of 12,055 kg.

"There is a lot of new technology here, and it's possible that some of these satellites may not work and, in fact, a small possibility that all the satellites will not work", he said.

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The Starlink satellites are part of SpaceX's program for a new high-speed internet service. The SpaceX Starlink Mission is scheduled for no earlier than 9:30 p.m. CDT, May 23rd.

Each of the satellites weighs just 227 kilograms (500 pounds) and was built in-house in Redmond, near Seattle.

"We'll start selling service initially around the 400th satellite launch and then make sure our production and launch of satellites stays ahead of user demand", he said. SpaceX will attempt to recover the first stage again after the launch, guiding it to a barge named "Of Course I Still Love You" floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

This launch will be the first of several Starlink missions.

That's slightly higher than the International Space Station, but well below the majority of terrestrial satellites, the highest of which sit in a geostationary orbit of 22,400 miles (36,000 kilometers).

The satellites will then use onboard propulsion to reach an operational altitude of 550 km.

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.

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