SpaceX is lofting a pioneering phalanx of web satellites tonight (May 15), and you may watch the liftoff reside.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying the primary 60 spacecraft in SpaceX’s “Starlink” megaconstellation is scheduled to launch tonight at 10:30 p.m. EDT (0230 GMT on May 16) from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Watch it reside here at Space.com courtesy of SpaceX, or straight via the spaceflight company.
The 60 tightly packed satellites almost fill the Falcon 9’s payload fairing, as SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk confirmed in a photo posted on Twitter over the weekend. That similar publish included a picture of Musk’s Tesla Roadster trying tiny inside its fairing forward of its launch on the primary take a look at flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket again in February 2018. (The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy use fairings of the identical measurement.)
Much will doubtless go incorrect on 1st mission. Also, 6 extra launches of 60 sats wanted for minor protection, 12 for average.May 12, 2019
Two weeks after that Falcon Heavy mission, SpaceX lofted two Starlink prototypes, dubbed Tintin A and Tintin B, as secondary payloads on a Falcon 9 flight. But the spacecraft going up tonight are “production-design” satellites, Musk stated.
Tonight’s launch will probably be only the start for Starlink, if all goes in accordance to plan. SpaceX goals to launch up to 12,000 satellites for the constellation, which is designed to ship low-cost web entry to individuals all over the world.
Six extra launches of 60-satellite payloads will probably be required to present “minor” protection, and “moderate” protection will probably be achieved by launching six extra after that, Musk stated in one other tweet.
SpaceX is not the one firm with internet-satellite desires. For instance, each OneWeb and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin plan to begin increase megaconstellations of their own within the coming months and years.
Mike Wall’s e-book in regards to the seek for alien life, “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.