The first group of SpaceX internet satellites might have to wait another week to get to top orbits. Wednesday’s attempt to launch Starlink, the firm’s effort to get into the space-based internet business, was postponed because of strong winds in the atmosphere. The Thursday delay, SpaceX stated on Twitter, was associated with assessing the systems it planned to start. The company could try again next week.
“Standing down to update satellite software and triple-check everything again. Always want to do everything we can on the ground to maximize mission success, next launch opportunity in about a week,” SpaceX agents said through Twitter.
Starlink is intended to provide affordable internet access to people around the world. The first five dozen spacecraft will not be nearly enough to do so; SpaceX will require about 400 satellites to provide minimal coverage and around 800 for moderate coverage, Elon Musk has said.
“This would provide connectivity to people who either don’t have any connectivity today or where it’s extremely expensive and unreliable,” Musk said during a Wednesday news conference.
Lots of organizations provide satellite internet with geostationary communications satellites 22,200 kilometers over the surface. Since the data signals have to travel up 22,200 miles and then back down, the performance can be laggy. That doesn’t matter if you are streaming a film, but it becomes intolerable when playing an online game which relies on fast reflexes.
The Starlink satellites will orbit much lower between 210 and 710 kilometers above the surface. That reduces the laziness or latency. SpaceX has said performance ought to be comparable to ground-based cable and optical fiber networks which carry most internet traffic now. Starlink would offer high-speed net to parts of the planet that now are cut off from the modern electronic world.
Mark Juncosa, vice president for automobile engineering in SpaceX, said that using 12 further launches, SpaceX could offer decent coverage over the United States; 24 starts would put enough satellites to cover most populated regions, and 30 will cover the entire world.