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SpaceX to Launch More Than 4,000 Super Fast Internet Satellites in 2019

May 05, 2017 09:00 AM EDT
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Elon Musk wants to provide super-fast Internet to Earth. To do that, he needs to send more than 4,000 Internet satellites into orbit.
(Photo : Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Elon Musk plans to send thousands of super fast Internet Satellites into orbit in 2019 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Musk's ambitious goal is to launch satellites into orbit to provide superfast Internet connectivity to Earth.

In an outline released by Musk, they are planning to put up a total of 4,425 Internet satellite. The data was filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Patricia Cooper from SpaceX said they will soon begin testing later this year and in early 2018 before the satellites are dispatched starting 2019.

"The remaining satellites in the constellation will be launched in phases through 2024," Cooper said in a statement.

SpaceX mastered the art of landing rockets, whether on solid ground or on drone ships, in order to cut the cost of spaceflight missions. The company makes use of reused Falcon 9 rockets that is also expected to get incorporated into this mission.

"SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle," Cooper added.

The total of 4,425 Internet satellite is expected to operate from 83 orbital altitudes from 1,110 kilometers to 1,323 kilometers. This attempt brings into the spotlight the broadband speed variations from different nations. The United States, according to reports, lags behind other nations when it comes to speed and price of the service. In launching more than four thousand Internet satellites, Musk hopes to drastically increase the speed of Internet connectivity on Earth from fast to super fast.

"Once fully deployed, the SpaceX System will pass over virtually all parts of the Earth's surface and therefore, in principle, have the ability to provide ubiquitous global service," a SpaceX official said in the FCC application. "Every point on the Earth's surface will see, at all times, a SpaceX satellite."

The network of Internet satellite will also try to deliver the service to rural and remote areas not reached by conventional Internet connectivity. The company will create a "mesh network" in order to deliver the service without the need for cables and physical connections. It is also expected to provide SpaceX with addition broadband capacity.

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