SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Starlink will be 5G-like service - speeds comparable to fiber optic networks - to millions of people around the world, even those living in locations now unable to secure their own internet connections.
The falcon 9 rocket was supposed to send the two of its internet satellites into orbit Sunday morning, but that's being pushed back to Wednesday at the earliest, to allow for more checks on the rocket's upgraded nose cone.
SpaceX head honchos alongside Musk told the FCC that two satellites would be launched on one of the Falcon 9 space rockets. However, sources also informed that SpaceX is also planning to launch two more prototypes named Mirosat-2a and Microsat-2b under the Starlink broadband satellite constellation. "These are experimental engineering verification vehicles that will enable the company to assess the satellite bus and related subsystems, as well as the space-based and ground-based phased array technologies".
Microsoft founder Bill Gates helped fund Teledesic, in an effort to build low Earth satellites to provide Internet service.
SpaceX was not immediately available for comment.
Musk, a billionaire who helped form PayPal and later Tesla and SpaceX, asked the USA federal government in 2015 for permission to begin testing an ambitious project: an internet-beaming satellite network from space.More news: Heavy Snow Possible Saturday Night, Weather Service Says
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OneWeb founder Greg Wyler testified that customers would start receiving 500-Mbps internet connections in 2019 with second-generation satellites offering 2.5 Gbps of high-speed internet by 2021. And the plan this week got a key endorsement from U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.
In May, the company's vice president of satellite government affairs, Patricia Cooper, detailed its plans to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology.
Trademark filings for Starlink past year also revealed that the constellation's satellites will have the ability to conduct some remote sensing and Earth observation operations such as aerial surveying.
The agency earlier approved three global operators for satellite-broadband operations. And he noted that the FCC has already approved three other satellite-internet projects now development by OneWeb, Space Norway, and Telesat.
This Falcon 9's first stage has flown once before, helping loft a Taiwanese Earth-observing satellite in August 2017.
In January, Telesat launched a satellite operated by the (state) Indian Space Research Organization.