Musk launches first two internet satellites

The Falcon 9 launch on 22 February 2018 may not have been as record breaking as the earlier Falcon Heavy launch, but it was still another first for Elon Musk – this time, the rocket carried SpaceX’s first two internet satellites into orbit.

The two smaller satellites hitched a ride on the rocket that carried a Spanish radar satellite called Paz that will keep an eye on ship traffic across the world’s oceans. They form part of Musk's plan to provide high-speed internet coverage across the world.

The scale of the ‘Starlink’ proposal is massive, with the company hoping to launch almost 12 000 satellites into orbit – more than twice the total number of all satellites launched in history. Over 4 000 will be interlinked broadband-internet satellites located some 1 100 to 1 300km above the Earth, with another 7 500 to be sent into lower orbits.

Watch a recording of the live webcast of the Paz mission launch on YouTube here:

PAZ Mission

Falcon 9’s first stage for the PAZ mission previously supported the
FORMOSAT-5 mission from SLC-4E in August 2017.
Video credit: SpaceX

07 Mar 2018

By Robyn Grimsley
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