SpaceX to launch 60 Starlink satellites to orbit

Starlink is SpaceX's ambitious plan to launch almost 12,000 satellites into low orbits around the Earth in order to provide broadband internet coverage to the Earth's surface. The space firm was going to loft the 60 satellites aboard the Falcon 9 rocket yesterday morning.

SpaceX's first-stage booster returned to Earth roughly 9 minutes after launch and landed on one of SpaceX's drone ships floating on the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The booster utilized for today's launch was flight-proven and had previously been used to launch the GPS III-03 satellite for the US Space Force in June.

Starlink satellites are launched every two weeks or so and are created to provide high-speed broadband internet in remote areas around the world.

The speed result is good news for the hundreds of thousands of people interested in the service, which is scheduled to kick off public beta trials in the coming weeks.

The Starlink megaconstellation, which could number 12,000 or even 42,000 satellites, remains "very much a work in progress", she said. "And over time, we will continue to add features to unlock the full capability of that network". During this launch, SpaceX claims that the satellites have shown "download speeds greater than 100 mbps". "Once these space lasers are fully deployed, Starlink will be one of the fastest options available to transfer data around the world".

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The company has been trying to build a constellation of these satellites, which will then provide globe spanning, high speed low latency Internet to everyone.

It has been able to show pretty impressive download speeds that go up and above 100Mbps.

There are now reportedly more than 600 Starlink satellites in orbit. In the past 60 days, 10 Starlink satellites have deorbited - eight from bulk launches, plus the two TinTin prototypes - according to Celestrack, a service from Analytical Graphics Inc.

After today's launch, SpaceX has put more than 700 satellites into orbit, more than the 400 needed to provide the initial operational capacity and close to the 800 needed to provide the significant operational capabilities.

SpaceX has completed 16 launches in 2020, all using Falcon 9 rockets.

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