SpaceX launches first satellites for Musk’s Starlink internet service
24, May 2019
Prelims level : Mains level :
- High-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX Company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida on Thursday on a mission to carry the first batch of five dozen small satellites into low-Earth orbit for his new Starlink internet service.
- The rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at about 10:30 p.m. local time (0230 GMT Friday), marking a milestone in a global enterprise aimed at generating cash for Mr. Musk’s larger ambitions in space.
- The Falcon 9 was due to release its cargo of 60 satellites into orbit about an hour after Thursday’s launch.
- Each one weighs 500 pounds (227 kg), making it the heaviest payload for any SpaceX rocket to date.
- Those satellites are designed to form the initial phase a planned constellation capable of beaming signals for high-speed internet service from space to paying customers around the globe.
- SpaceX would begin approaching customers later this year or next year. As many as 2,000 satellites will be launched per year, with the ultimate objective of placing up to 12,000 into orbit.