This may be people’s most obvious opportunity to get a look at SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites before they’re rushed into orbit. Elon Musk has posted a photograph of the first 60 creation satellites stuffed into the fairing of a Falcon 9 rocket in front of their launch this coming week.
As should be obvious, the housing is full to the gills – Musk included that the satellites are “flat-packed,” without the dispenser people may expect for certain missions.
Musk further noticed that the launch timing was variable, yet was “currently tracking” to May 15th (he likewise raised the likelihood of a May 14th takeoff). He cautioned that “much will likely go wrong” on this first deployment, and that it would take six more similar launches to achieve “minor” broadband coverage, and twice that for “moderate.”
SpaceX’s definitive objective is to put about 11,000 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit among now and the mid-2020s, giving rapid internet access to territories of the planet where broadband is uncommon, spotty or non-existent. This first launch is actually only a little part of a long procedure, and that is given everything works out as expected.
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