Billionaire Elon Musk's firm, which is leading the private space race when it comes to rocket launches, is now looking to seize a chunk of the future space internet market. Traditional satellite internet suffers from extreme latency of a second or more, but Starlink will feature more than 7,500 in very-low-earth orbit (VLEO) to reduce latency on the ground.
Based on Musk's most recent declaration that the company will be deploying about 720 in six launches by next year (which works out to 60 launches a month), it is clear that Musk intends to shift the creation of Starlink into high-gear.
Each satellite weighs about 500 pounds (227 kilograms), making this the heaviest payload ever flown on a Falcon 9.
SpaceX is one of several commercial outfits with permission to fly an internet mega-constellation. "This is a key stepping stone on the way toward establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon".
It had been originally scheduled to launch last week, but was postponed because of high winds over the Cape and the need for a software update.More news: 'What Happened At Liverpool Is In My Head,' Says Lionel Messi
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The satellites are created to use their onboard krypton ion drives to raise their orbits to the prescribed 550-kilometer (342-mile) altitude.
"It's possible that some of these satellites may not work, and in fact, it's possible that [there's a] small possibility that all of the satellites will not work".
SpaceX's Starlink is a next-generation satellite network capable of connecting the globe, especially reaching those who are not yet connected (like rural areas).
The company expects that it will take a further day to confirm that they are all functioning as planned.
However, Musk has a way to go yet before his mission can be deemed wholly successful.
"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.