Elon Musk tweeted the first look of his rocket company SpaceX’s bold plan to facilitate ultra-high-speed internet to the entire world with an image of 60 Starlink satellites packed into SpaceX’s Falcon rocket on Saturday. He even shared fresh details about the global satellite networking gambit.
The rocket is scheduled for launch between 10:30 pm and 12 am ET on Wednesday night (0230 and 0400 UTC Thursday), aboard a 230-foot-tall (70 meters tall) Falcon 9 rocket.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2019
These Starlink satellites are part of Musk’s ambitious plans to build an unprecedented network of internet-providing spacecraft. He had first announced the idea in 2015 and intends to build up a fleet of almost 12,000 satellites after raising more funds. If the revolutionary entrepreneur meets his goals, internet users around the globe would get access to download and upload speeds that are almost 40 times faster than average, irrespective of their location.
Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete—targeting May 15 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Pad 40 in Florida
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 14, 2019
An earlier Business Insider report said that Musk and Space X have not yet disclosed the charge for this service, but the aim is to keep prices low and competitive to best similar satellite networks like OneWeb or Jeff Bezos’ Project Kuiper.
This will not be the rocket company’s first launch of the satellites. SpaceX previously launched two of these experimental satellites named Tintin A and Tintin B in late February. But those satellites were for trial only while the latest set are production design-level, Musk shared on Saturday. Musk also tweeted out SpaceX’s imminent game plan to get minor internet coverage, “6 more launches of 60 [satellites are] needed,” Musk said, while 12 satellites would be needed for moderate coverage. SpaceX has stated it aims to have accessible internet coverage by 2020.
Though the first Starlink launch will take place on a Falcon rocket, the company. Musk said he’ll announce new details about the two-stage vehicle around June 20, but his previous statements suggest it may stand nearly 400 feet (120 meters) tall, be fully reusable, and lug perhaps 150 tons of cargo into orbit.
The company has been working on its ambitious launch system called Starship for years. If the two-stage vehicle becomes operational in the early 2020s as per plans, the spacecraft may be capable of deploying hundreds of Starlink satellites at a time instead of dozens.