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SpaceX launches 60 satellites for Starlink internet constellation

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Christian Fernsby |
Starlink
World   The satellites were deposited at an altitude of 400 kilometers (250 miles)

SpaceX has begun its build the ambitious Starlink internet constellation, a series of interconnected satellites to deliver internet to paying customers around the globe.

The 60 Starlink satellites, each weighing 500 pounds (227 kg), were released to low Earth orbit (LEO), SpaceX confirmed in a series of tweets.

The satellites were deposited at an altitude of 400 kilometers (250 miles) by a Falcon 9 rocket that launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The reusable rocket booster successfully landed upright on a droneship in the Atlantic ocean nine minutes after launch.

Once complete, the Starlink constellation of satellites would transmit signals for high-speed internet access to paying customers.

The massive telecommunications system should go online once 400 satellites are in orbit and activated, but Starlink will reach “significant operational capacity” at 800 satellites, in the words of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, as reported by SpaceNews.

The private space firm will need to conduct at least a dozen or more launches before this can happen.

Musk said Starlink will become “economically viable” at 1,000 units.

Incredibly, as many as 12,000 satellites could one day comprise the entire Starlink constellation.

Starlink is expected to go online by the mid 2020s.


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