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SpaceX launches Falcon 9 with first broadband internet satellites

SpaceX launches Falcon 9 with first broadband internet satellites

Context:

The Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a customer payload plus its own broadband demonstration satellites in the company’s first mission since millions tuned in earlier this month for its Falcon Heavy debut.

Highlights:

  • The launch carried a radar-imaging satellite and a pair of SpaceX’s own broadband satellites as a secondary payload.
  • The PAZ satellite will orbit the planet 15 times a day and collect information - including ship tracking and weather data - for government and commercial customers.
  • Microsat-2a and -2b are the first prototypes for the company’s planned constellation of satellites - dubbed Starlink - intended to offer broadband internet around the world. If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served.
  • SpaceX is targeting roughly 30 total launches this year, including flying its new Falcon Heavy rocket again in June.  

Falcon 9:

Falcon 9 is a family of two-stage-to-orbit medium lift launch vehicles, named for its use of nine Merlin first-stage engines, designed and manufactured by SpaceX. Variants include the retired v1.0 and v1.1, as well as the currently operational "Full Thrust" v1.2 evolution. Falcon 9 is a partially-reusable launch system powered by rocket engines utilizing liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellants.

About SpaceX:

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., doing business as SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has since developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit.

 

 

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