High winds force scrub of 1st SpaceX Starlink mission

On May 15 SpaceX is launching 60 Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

On May 15 SpaceX is launching 60 Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

You can read all about the Starlink plan for space internet domination in CNET's handy explainer.

SpaceX asked for and received USA market access for a constellation numbering nearly 12,000 satellites.

Furthermore, there is concern from some quarters that the upcoming launches of large satellite batches by SpaceX-and others pursuing similar aims, such as European company OneWeb-could increase the risk of unsafe collisions and space debris.

Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and CEO, tweeted a photo of the 60 internet satellites filling up the Falcon 9 rocket over the weekend. SpaceX announced the satellites back in 2015 and has been working on them ever since. The company aims to send up to 12,000 internet satellites into orbit for the constellation, however, six more launches of 60 internet satellites will be needed for "minor" internet coverage and another six liftoffs of 60 internet satellites will be needed to achieve "moderate" internet coverage, according to Musk. "It's extremely sparse", Musk said, according to The Verge. "We will hopefully have Starship active by the time we are anywhere near 12,000 satellites", he said, referring to the next-generation fully reusable launch system SpaceX is developing.

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SpaceX will need another six missions, he said, before Starlink can provide consistent internet coverage for small parts of the world.

SpaceX is continuing its busy year with another rocket launch, and this time it's sending its own suite of communications satellites into Earth orbit that it hopes will facilitate the spread of high-speed internet networks into remote areas. Unlike with some other recent launches which had instantaneous launch opportunities, the Starlink launch will have exactly one and a half hours to get off the ground.

In the past, others have tried and failed to do just what SpaceX, OneWeb and others are hoping to accomplish.

"Each company has to launch a certain number of satellites to provide commercial services", said Tom Stroup, president of the Satellite Industry Association in Washington.

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Musk has faced other challenges. As many as 2,000 satellites will be launched per year, he said.

Nicholas Johnson, the chief scientist for Orbital Debris, said: "Any of these debris has the potential for seriously disrupting or terminating the mission of operational spacecraft in low Earth orbit".

In a call with reporters, Musk cautioned that "there is a lot of new technology here, and so it's possible that some of these satellites may not work".

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. But at the moment the company was not actively seeking customers, he said.

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The goal is to use that network to relay internet traffic at close to the speed that light travels through a vacuum (which is about 50% faster than light can travel through glass in fiber-optic cables). Starlink revenue would also help fund a base on the moon, he said.

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