Hello, World! SpaceX Launches Demo Internet Satellites


Elon Musk's internet-in-space project took to the stars today, as SpaceX Corp. launched two experimental satellites that will form the base of the company's Starlink broadband service.

Musk tweeted that the satellites were named Tintin A and B and were communicating with Earth stations.

The company launched two experimental satellites today (Feb. 22) created to help lay the foundation for Starlink, a network that, if all goes according to plan, will consist of thousands of spacecraft providing broadband internet service to people around the world.

SpaceX faces stiff competition from OneWeb, a company that plans to launch more than 800 330-pound satellites.

The company kept the test satellites largely under wraps and chose to focus on the primary payload for Thursday's launch - a defense and security satellite for the Spanish government called PAZ.

While the launch and deployment of PAZ and Tintin were successful, SpaceX didn't quite catch the nose cone of the Falcon 9 as it fell back to Earth.

Dragonfly is a dual-quadcopter lander that would take advantage of the environment on Titan to fly to multiple locations some hundreds of miles apart to sample materials and determine surface composition to investigate Titan's organic chemistry and habi
Hello, World! SpaceX Launches Demo Internet Satellites

The failure to catch was mostly on the ship's end, as this was the first time a catcher's mitt-carrying boat was sent out during one of SpaceX's launches, and they clearly didn't use a big enough mitt.

"SpaceX's application - along with those of other satellite companies seeking licenses or access to the U.S. market for nongeostationary satellite orbit systems - involves one such innovation".

The day before launch, Musk said Starlink - a global constellation of 4,500 broadband spacecraft in low-Earth orbit - "will serve [the] least served". Musk has previously said that his satellite internet business could win 40 million subscribers by 2025.

The rocket was originally supposed to launch Wednesday morning after it was delayed on both Saturday and Sunday.

SLC 40 had been dormant since September 1, 2016, when a rocket exploded days before it was set to launch.

Later, he said the fairing parafoil deployed as planned, adding, "Now trying to catch it". The rocket fairing costs $6M per launch so it makes sense to try and reuse that has well to further drive down launch costs. SpaceX attempted to get the rocket's fairing, or nose cone, to land on its drone ship. In March of 2017, SpaceX successfully recovered the fairings for one of their Falcon 9s, which allowed them to recoup an estimated $6 million dollars from that launch.

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