With Monday night launch, SpaceX to become world’s largest satellite operator

This Falcon 9 rocket has launched three times, including on the Telstar VANTAGE 18 mission in 2018.

Enlarge / This Falcon 9 rocket has launched three times, including on the Telstar VANTAGE 18 mission in 2018. (credit: SpaceX)

In 2019 SpaceX launched two batches of 60 Starlink satellites—one experimental, and the second operational. On Monday, the company plans to add 60 more satellites with a nighttime launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

If all goes to plan, this mission will be just the first of as many as 20 Starlink launches this year as SpaceX builds up a constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide global Internet service. SpaceX may begin to offer "bumpy" service by the middle of this year to some consumers.

Following this next launch, scheduled for 9:19pm ET Monday (02:19 UTC Tuesday), SpaceX will have a constellation of nearly 180 satellites in low-Earth orbit, each weighing a little more than 220kg. This will make the company simultaneously the world's largest private satellite operator (eclipsing Planet Labs), while also being the most active private launch company.

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https://arstechnica.com/?p=1639023

Source: Ars Technica

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