SpaceX to Launch Starlink Mission from Cape Canaveral

SpaceX, the private aerospace company headed by Elon Musk, continues to launch a series of Falcon 9 rockets from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Weather and technical issues have delayed some previous launch attempts, and recent delays were due to powerful upper level winds and software issues with the Starlink satellite.

According to NASA, the first launch of the Starlink satellites marked the 71st flight of the Falcon 9, the 72nd mission of the Falcon 9, the 79th orbital mission for SpaceX, and the 40th booster recovery for SpaceX.

The Flacon 9 rockets are meant to deliver the Starlink satellites into orbit. According to the official Starlink website, “Space X’s Starlink is a next generation satellite network capable of connecting the globe, especially reaching those who are not yet connected, with reliable and affordable broadband internet services.”

Starlink’s mission is to launch rockets packed with satellites into earth’s orbit. Each satellite weighs about 500 lbs. and is roughly the size of an office desk. Those satellites will beam internet connectivity all over the world to currently unreachable areas. This will serve as the money-making arm of SpaceX and allow it to continue its mission of developing private space travel that will take people to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

The aim is to launch almost 12,000 satellites, but Musk claimed in an interview with Business Insider a fraction of that will enable them to start selling internet, and he also said, “for the system to be economically viable, it’s really on the order of 1,000 satellite.”

Musk also said in an interview with Florida Today, “We see this as a way for SpaceX to generate revenue that can be used to develop more and more advanced rockets and spaceships,” and he believes, “this is a key stepping stone on the way toward establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon.”

Space X has set an aggressive goal to be operational by 2027, but Musk feels they can start selling service by 2021. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave the company until April of 2024 to deploy half of its low orbit satellites, and the rest by 2027. If they don’t make those deadlines, the FCC can freeze the maximum amount of satellites they’re allowed to launch to what they already have in space.

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