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SpaceX Launches Satellites Including Ones To Test Affordable Worldwide Internet Access

23 February 2018

The satellite is an integral part of Spain's Space Strategic Plan first implemented in 2007; its mission is funded and owned by Spain's Ministry of Defense, and managed by Hisdesat.

Reusable Falcon 9 rocket needs to deliver into orbit a Spanish radar observation satellite Paz (weighing 1350 kg), as well as two demo satellites for Internet distribution Microsat 2a and 2b (400 kg mass).

The PAZ satellite is a state-of-the-art advanced radar instrument created to snap high resolution images of Earth day and night. SpaceX has obtained the clearance from FCC where the chairman Ajit Pai commemorated the event which received criticism yet it passed without any issues. But even if SpaceX's demonstration satellites are successful, the company has a long way to go before its ambitious project is up and running. The satellites will whisk around the planet about 335 km (208 miles) to 1,325 km (823 miles) above the Earth's surface.

They include OneWeb, a startup that's attracted backing from the likes of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, Coca-Cola and Qualcomm.

Documents filed to the FCC indicate that the way these satellites will advance our internet capabilities is through "advanced phased array beam forming", "innovative optical inter-satellite links" and "digital processing technologies". SpaceX will conduct a test program that aims at development and testing of satellite bus and subsystems.

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In addition to a Spanish company's radar satellite, the launch is expected to send up two experimental SpaceX satellites. Called Falcon Heavy, it became the most powerful operational rocket in the world.

SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is launching a Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday morning at 9:17 a.m. ET.

The launch takes place less than 30 minutes before sunrise and there's a possibility San Diegans will once again see something "especially interesting".

That's almost 12,000 satellites - more than twice the number of all satellites launched in history, according to a count by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

While SpaceX's first-stage boosters are typically recovered and refurbished, Falcon 9 fairings are usually thrown away, Boyte writes. According to SpaceX, this will be a major source of revenue for the private space agency.

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For this flight SpaceX didn't try and recover the Falcon first-stage booster and let it crash into the ocean.

To that end SpaceX has bought a recovery vessel, dubbed Mr Steven, which has a huge net stretched out over the ship's deck.

"Missed by a few hundred meters, but fairing landed intact in water", Musk posted on Twitter.

'It's like a giant catcher's mitt, in boat form.I think it might be able to do the same thing with Dragon, ' he added.

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SpaceX Launches Satellites Including Ones To Test Affordable Worldwide Internet Access