Elon Musk Goes Big, Launches Satellites for Starlink Internet

Cape Canaveral: High tech entrepreneur, investor and engineer Elon Reeve Musk recently launched satellites for his Starlink Internet Service.

Musk’s company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida on Thursday. It was on a mission to carry the first batch of five dozen small satellites into low-Earth orbit.

The Falcon 9 took off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:30 PM local time (0230 GMT Friday) sending 60 internet-beaming satellites into space.

Musk’s rocket launch was delayed twice in a week due to two reasons- first due to heavy winds at the cape and the second time due to ‘triple check’ and software update of the systems.

The SpaceX rocket was supposed to release the freight into the orbit after about one hour post its launch. Each one weighs around 500 pounds making Falcon 9 the heaviest payload for any SpaceX rocket to date.

Falcon 9 carrying 60 satellites
Starlink Satellites loaded into Falcon fairing (Pic Courtesy- Elon Musk-Twitter)

The 60 satellites which were injected into the lower orbit of the earth, are the first batch of SpaceX’s Starlink mega constellation. Which the company hopes will help provide affordable internet coverage to the world.

The 47-year-old entrepreneur says that his Starlink venture is going to be the new revenue stream for his California based company SpaceX, whose launch service income he expects to top out at around $3 billion a year.

Musk told a reporter that he wants to develop a new spacecraft to fly paying customers to the moon and then eventually colonize Mars. And his Starlink Pivotal is helping him pay for those plans.

“We think this is a key stepping stone on the way towards establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon,” said Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur.

Starlink is currently only authorised to provide internet coverage in the United States. At least 12 more such launches will be needed to achieve constant internet coverage of most of the world, Musk said.

“This will not only provide internet access to areas that don’t have it, but provide competitive access to areas that already have connectivity,” Musk said in the May 15 telecon.

In total, SpaceX plans to launch nearly 12,000 of these satellites, which will be injected to the low-Earth orbit and beam internet coverage to the world below.

Not only SpaceX but several companies including OneWeb, Telesat, and now Amazon want to provide internet to the masses by deploying a network of small satellites in low-Earth orbit. Which will be much closer to the Earth than the satellites providing internet services currently.

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