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SpaceX to launch test satellites to kick off internet project

23 February 2018

The Hawthorne-based space technology company's latest mission is for one of its Falcon 9 rockets to carry a almost 3-ton Earth-imaging satellite called Paz for Madrid-based operator Hisdesat.

Because the market is so competitive, SpaceX has said only as much about Starlink as it's been required to say in regulatory filings. Paz satellite will be used for military and civilian purposes.

Hawthorne-based SpaceX Thursday launched a trio of satellites aboard a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, including two that are part of a demonstration project for a proposed space-based internet system. Last week, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he had endorsed Starlink, but the plan has yet to garner official FCC approval.

There is still lots of research to be done on how to accomplish this at scale but that is what today's launch will help with.

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch Thursday morning after having two previous launch attempts scrubbed. Musk said in a tweet on February 21.

SpaceX made history yet again with the successful deployment of first two Starlink global internet demo satellites to orbit, opening a new generation of satellite technologies that will provide broadband services.

Almost three years after the announcement, and following the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy, the first satellites for the high-speed Internet network are now ready for launch.

The satellite was set to deploy approximately eleven minutes after launch.

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According to reports, The company with the help of Elon Musk's vision wants to create a giant constellation of almost 12,000 satellites that will orbit above Earth, allowing internet connectivity to antenna receivers on the planet's surface. In order to drive the cost lower than usual expenditure in launching satellites, SpaceX used the first stage recovered in August 2017 after a Taiwanese satellite was launched.

Given that each pair of fairings costs the company several million dollars, being able to recover them and reuse them would make their satellite launches even cheaper.

"Mr. Steven", as the ship is called, followed the descending fairings, and attempted to catch one of them in the net, for its eventual return to land.

After falling back into the Earth's surface at a speed eight times faster than sound, the fairing plunged straight into the ocean and fortunately managed to remain completely intact.

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SpaceX to launch test satellites to kick off internet project