Published: Tue, February 20, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

SpaceX to launch demo satellites for its high-speed internet project

SpaceX to launch demo satellites for its high-speed internet project

Paz won't be riding alone on its recycled Falcon 9 though; SpaceX quietly loaded two experimental broadband satellites-built in-house-atop the rocket. The main goal of the mission is to launch Paz, and SpaceX will be focusing on that.

Late a year ago, the Earth-observation satellite began its trip toward to space by taking an global flight from Spain to California while riding inside a special container created to keep the craft safe.

SpaceX isn't the only one working on a constellation of LEO internet satellites. By all appearances, the rocket company has been eminently successful in enacting a true industrial phase change towards the acceptance of flight-proven rocketry - a hard-earned achievement made possible by a combination of incredible reliability and unexpectedly positive responses from government agencies like NASA and the USAF. For now, SpaceX is, for now, has not given any comments about the Starlink satellite.

The broadband project is to get an early test component on February 17, when SpaceX is slated to launch a pair of demonstration satellites, known as Microsat-2a and -2b, to test a broadband antenna to be included in the proposed constellation, according to a SpaceX document filed with the FCC.

Elon Musk's latest mission is to deliver Americans their internet from space. There seems no doubt that the FCC will approve SpaceX's satellite-borne internet. However, the satellites that will form the backbone off Starlink will orbit the earth at an altitude of around 1,200 kilometers.

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The FCC granted the license, which highlights one significant component to the plan: The satellites will not be in a fixed position in orbit.

Joining the likes of OneWeb, Space Norway and Telesat - who have also received approvals for similar plans - the SpaceX constellation will be comprised of LEO satellites.

SpaceX has filed numerous applications with the FCC to get this done.

The constellation is meant to provide broadband internet service at "fiber-like speeds", especially for individual households and small businesses, according to testimony from Patricia Cooper, SpaceX vice president of government affairs, during an October Senate committee hearing.

On Feb. 6, the company launched the world´s most powerful rocket, SpaceX´s Falcon Heavy, from Florida. And then there's the technology needed to receive the internet on Earth. On Wednesday this week, Pai, and his two Republican FCC commissioners that do his bidding, indicated the plan is a goer. Commercial service could start after 800 satellites have been launched. The more internet satellites you have in orbit, the more subscribers you can reach.

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