SpaceX Successfully Launches 60 Starlink Satellites
Early October saw the successful launch of 60 Starlink satellites by SpaceX after the event was delayed for two weeks due to inclement weather. The company launched a record 175 satellites earlier this year.
According to reports, the satellites were hauled by the company’s Falcon 9 two-stage rocket. The first stage returned to Earth 9 minutes after the launch. The booster, which had flown twice before, landed on one of the company’s drone ships in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s first flight in May took NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, and the second in July hauled a South Korean military communications satellite.
Satellites For Global Broadband
The flat-panel Starlink satellites that launched earlier this month form part of a ‘megaconstellation’ that will offer global broadband coverage needed for high-speed internet, especially for people in rural areas. According to SpaceX, more launches can be expected in the coming months. CEO Elon Musk said that, while the initial goal is to launch 1,440 satellites, it needs between 500 and 800 in orbit to start rolling out its broadband service.
Beyond that, the company plans to launch many more flat-panel satellites. The company has permission from the Federal Communications Commission to launch up to 12,000, but it has indicated that it will request permission to launch as many as 30,000. If SpaceX gets it right, it will certainly make it easier for many more players to enjoy good-quality real money games online.
Beta Testing Begun
SpaceX has already begun its beta-testing phase for the Starlink system. The testing currently is limited to employees, but it is expected to be opened to the public before the end of the year.
According to the company, the system already can support numerous high-definition streams simultaneously. When the system rolls out, users will be able to connect to the service using a laptop-sized, UFO-on-a-stick-shaped terminal.
In addition to its beta-testing of download speeds, the company is also testing inter-satellite laser links, which are a feature of the new batches of satellites. The links make it possible for data to bypass ground stations when flowing through the network. If SpaceX receives permission from the Federal Communications Commission, it also will add user terminals to its drone ships.
Commenting on the launch, Siva Bharadvaj, a SpaceX integration and test engineer, said that it was a good end to the period he dubbed ‘Scrub-tober’.
Milestones For SpaceX
The successful satellite launch was one of the several milestones that SpaceX reached this year. The launch was the 17th mission of 2020, and it was the 94th time that the company has flown the Falcon 9. The company also brought the number of times one first-stage booster was launched and landed up to six.
SpaceX was founded by Musk in 2002, and it is headquartered in Hawthorne, California. Its CEO said that the company’s mission was to reduce the cost of space travel, which would better enable human colonisation of the planet Mars. The company is the largest private satellite constellation operator in the world.