Elon Musk shares look of SpaceX's first Internet satellites

An illustration of SpaceX's constellation of Starlink satellites

While Elon Musk's SpaceX has made a name out of reinventing space travel and exploration, one of its long-term plans is to fill the sky with satellites transmitting high-speed Internet to every point on the globe.

According to Shotwell, the 60 satellites set to be launched are still prototypes.

"These are production design, unlike our earlier TinTin demo sats", Musk said on Twitter, adding that it's a "tight fit" to get all 60 on top of a single SpaceX rocket.

Announced by Musk at an event in January 2015, the initial plan was to launch 4,425 satellites of altitudes ranging from 715 to 823 miles above the earth.

The Starlink constellation is Musk's idea of how to give the underserved parts of the world access to broadband internet connectivity. On Twitter, Musk noted that the satellites are flat-packed inside the nosecone, or payload fairing, and there is no dispenser for deploying them into orbit. However, the exact number of the company's Starlink satellites that would be aboard the Falcon 9 rocket had been a mystery. As a result, SpaceX successfully petitioned the FCC to fly some of its satellites in the lower orbit, based on what the company had learned from those test satellites.

What's more, a Starship designed for people may be poised to launch them to the moon and perhaps Mars. The flight is now scheduled for May 15th out of Cape Canaveral, Florida. So far, it has only launched 2 test satellites, TinTin A and TinTin B. This will be the next and so far largest batch, and Musk expects it to go wrong.

SpaceX could launch two to six more Starlink missions this year, depending on how this first flight goes, according to Space News.

The dream of high-speed internet delivered from space may be realized by Starlink, but it's going to take a lot of work. Now, the tech giant hopes to launch those satellites at 550 kilometers, which was approved by the FCC.

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