Share

SpaceX launches 60 little satellites, 1st of thousands

Share

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has launched 60 little satellites, the first of thousands that founder Elon Musk plans to put in orbit for global internet coverage.

The recycled Falcon rocket blasted off late Thursday night. The first-stage booster landed on an ocean platform following liftoff, as the tightly packed cluster of satellites continued upward.

Musk said Friday all 60 flat-panel satellites were deployed and online a few hundred miles (kilometers) above Earth. Each weighs 500 pounds (227 kilograms) and has a single solar panel and a krypton-powered thruster for raising and maintaining altitude. The satellites have the capability of automatically dodging sizable pieces of space junk.

The orbiting constellation — named Starlink — will grow in the next few years, Musk said.

Twelve launches of 60 satellites each will provide reliable and affordable internet coverage throughout the U.S., he said. Twenty-four launches will serve most of the populated world and 30 launches the entire world. That will be 1,800 satellites in total, with more planned after that.

Trending:
Biden's Delaware Summer House Gets $455K Upgrade Billed to the US Taxpayer

Musk told reporters last week there’s “a fundamental goodness” to giving people in all corners of the globe choices in broadband internet service. He’s especially interested in reaching areas without coverage or where it is expensive or unreliable.

Other companies have similar plans, including Project Kuiper from Jeff Bezos’ Amazon and OneWeb.

According to Musk, California-based SpaceX can use Starlink revenue to develop more advanced rockets and spacecraft to achieve his ultimate goal of establishing a city on Mars.

Musk, who also runs the electric carmaker Tesla and other ventures, said Starlink is one of the hardest engineering projects he’s encountered. The satellites include a lot of new technology, and he warned last week that some of them might not work.

The Starlink satellites are designed to re-enter the atmosphere after four or five years in orbit, burning up harmlessly over the Pacific. Musk stressed there will be no safety issues on the ground from falling chunks of debris.

The launch was delayed twice last week, first by high wind and then for software updates. It was the third flight for this booster.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation