More reports on: Aerospace, Telecom

SpaceX to launch its first internet satellite on Saturday

13 February 2018

SpaceX plans to launch a satellite on Saturday, which will be the first of a constellation of satellites that will provide internet access to everyone and everywhere, according to Geekwire.

SpaceX's plan for providing internet access, Starlink, announced in 2015, envisaged a constellation of satellites in orbit around the earth to provide internet access and involved launching more than 4,000 such satellites, which would form a network capable of transmitting anywhere.

According to experts, while satellite internet does currently exist, SpaceX's plan is somewhat different. Internet satellites today fly at geostationary orbits, over 20,000 miles above the earth, but SpaceX's satellites would fly much closer, at around 750 miles, only three times further than the ISS. According to experts, with closer satellites, connection speeds will be much faster and bandwidth will be higher.

They point out that the downside to closer satellites, is that SpaceX will need many more of them. While only a handful of satellites parked in geostationary orbit are needed to reach the whole world, SpaceX will need a few thousand.

Such a feat would have been impossible only a few years ago, but with the recent successful launch of the Falcon Heavy and reusable spacecraft becoming a reality, putting 4,000 satellites, it just might just be feasible.

SpaceX is scheduled to conduct its first West Coast launch of the year on Saturday, carrying a Spanish satellite into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB).

The launch has been set for 6:17 am Saturday from VAFB's Space Launch Complex-4.

The space launch commander will be Col Greg Wood, vice commander of the 30th Space Wing.

''The 30th Space Wing is ready to support the first West Coast SpaceX launch of 2018,'' Wood said, according to VAFB public affairs.

''Each launch marks the culmination of hard work and dedication of Team V. We are excited to support this mission as we continue to provide safe, secure access to polar orbit.''

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