By Mike Wall
Last night (May 23), SpaceX lofted the first five dozen members of its Starlink broadband constellation to low-Earth orbit (LEO) using one of the company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rockets. Starlink is designed to provide internet connectivity to people around the world, and it will do so using a truly enormous number of satellites.
Starlink won’t be able to provide “minor” coverage until about 400 spacecraft are up and running, and “moderate” coverage requires about 800 operational satellites, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has said. But the company doesn’t plan to stop at “moderate.”
“In a year and a half, maybe two years, if things go well, SpaceX will probably have more satellites in orbit than all other satellites combined — a majority of the satellites in orbit will be SpaceX,” Musk said last week during a prelaunch teleconference with reporters.
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