SpaceX will be launching 60 production satellites tonight, kickstarting its quest to eventually send a total of 12,000 of them into space. The satellites are part of an Internet-from-space project called Starlink, an initiative to provide global internet coverage from space with extremely low lag times. While these initial satellites won’t have the functionality of those SpaceX hopes to eventually launch into orbit, it nonetheless marks a big step for the Elon Musk-owned company in the right direction and will be a valuable learning experience.
In the long run, the project will involve putting up two groups of satellites into space: the first batch of 4,409 satellites will orbit the Earth between 340 miles to 823 miles up; the second batch of 7,518 satellites will orbit at a lower level, between 208 miles to 214 miles high. Totaling 11,927 satellites, Starlink will provide internet connections to up to a million user terminals on Earth.
The launch is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. EST, with a launch window of an hour and a half. You can watch the whole live stream of the launch of SpaceX’s latest ambitious mission above.
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