On Saturday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk disclosed the 60 satellites that his company will be launching this week. The very first batch of thousands of satellites which SpaceX hopes to deploy in the years ahead to present global internet coverage from space.
On Twitter this week, Elon Musk revealed off 60 of SpaceX’s brand new Starlink satellites being packaged onto a Falcon rocket ahead of the week’s assignment to test the deployment of the satellites into low Earth orbit.
Musk explained that the satellites packaged into the rocket were the manufacturing satellites, not prototypes like previous evaluations. Also, He suggested that things were likely to go wrong on this first deployment, but one can only assume that later launches would go more smoothly.
The satellites are the first operational components of SpaceX’s Starlink initiative, a planned mega-constellation of almost 12,000 satellites that will sit at a shallow orbit above Earth and beam net connectivity to the surface below. The Federal Communications Commission has given SpaceX permission to launch two groups of satellites to get the Starlink project: one constellation of 4,409 satellites, followed closely with a second constellation of 7,518 which will operate at a slightly lower altitude than the first. Together, the satellites are meant to fly at a synchronized dance across the Earth, providing internet to each region of Earth, As Verge reports.
Musk said that the next six establishes would be needed for minor protection of the planned satellite community and another six on top of that for moderate coverage, altogether requiring 420 (yep!) and 780 satellites, respectively.
Now the company is preparing to launch the Starlink project seriously. This original group of 60 consists of “production design” spacecraft that are different compared to TinTin satellites, according to Musk. However last week during a satellite conference, SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell noted that these satellites lack some layout features needed for the final constellation, according to a report in Space News. Even though the satellites will have antennas for communicating with Earth and also the capability to maneuver through distance, they won’t have the ability to communicate together in orbit, she said.
Shotwell said SpaceX might establish two to six more Starlink missions this season, depending on how this first flight goes, according to Space News.
The plan is to get the satellites reachable from anywhere on the planet, extending broadband internet service to underserved parts of the globe.
SpaceX is expecting that their strategies for the satellite-based network are going to have roughly 40 million subscribers by 2025, bringing in $30 billion in revenue.
SpaceX is just one of several companies keen to launch large constellations of satellites into space, Aiming to provide global internet coverage. Businesses like OneWeb, Telesat, LeoSat, and recently Amazon are also working on massive constellations that would offer internet connectivity in lower orbits of Earth. OneWeb launched its first six satellites in February of this year. However, now SpaceX is poised to gain a significant lead in the race to give internet from long range, Even though it appears like more hardware updates are still necessary for future assignments.