Secret SpaceX satellites: Musk seals years-long mission to place Starlink in orbit (VIDEO)
The car-sized satellites, which weigh about 390kg each, were launched from the Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, after the rocket’s launch had been delayed a number of times due to poor weather conditions.
“Today’s Falcon launch carries 2 SpaceX test satellites for global broadband,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served.”
First two Starlink demo satellites, called Tintin A & B, deployed and communicating to Earth stations pic.twitter.com/TfI53wHEtz— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018
Today’s Falcon launch carries 2 SpaceX test satellites for global broadband. If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2018
Musk has been working on the secretive plans for a number of years. The satellites, Tintin A and Tintin B, are testing the broadband service and, according to Musk, will “attempt to beam ‘hello world,’” as they pass near Los Angeles on Friday morning.
Tintin A & B will attempt to beam “hello world” in about 22 hours when they pass near LA— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018
“Don’t tell anyone, but the Wi-Fi password is ‘martians,’” Musk joked. “That was a DM, right?”
Don’t tell anyone, but the wifi password is “martians”— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018
That was a DM, right?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018
The Space X satellites will have low Earth orbits so that they’ll be able to provide internet with a similar latency to cable and fiber broadband. Once testing is complete, operational satellites could start working by 2019.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the launches of 4,425 SpaceX internet satellites in 2016, but the company then increased that number to almost 12,000, Futurism reports.
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