SpaceX Plans to Launch 4,425 Satellites Starting 2019 to Provide Internet Globally

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SpaceX Plans to Launch 4,425 Satellites Starting 2019 to Provide Internet Globally
Highlights
  • The satellites will be launched by company's Falcon 9 rockets
  • Prototype satellites will be launched this year and next year
  • The entire network is expected to be established through 2024

SpaceX is known to be ambitious and the company has now revealed that it plans to launch 4,425 satellites into space starting 2019 through to 2024 in order to provide fast Internet around globe. The company plans to introduce low- Earth orbiting satellites into the space in order to provide Internet connectivity and will be using its Falcon 9 rockets to launch these satellites.

The company is planning to get a prototype satellite into space this year and another one next year as part of testing before it eventually starts sending the satellites in 2019, Vice President of Satellite Government Affairs - Patricia Cooper said, as per a report by The Verge. The initial system will use Ka- and Ku-Band spectrum, and has been designed to provide "a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental, and professional users worldwide," said Cooper. She added that the network will be established through 2024.

Interestingly, these satellite systems will be developed in such a way that they can be updated and stay relevant with the increasing demands over time, as pointed out in the report.

In 2015, Facebook also shared its plans to increase the Internet coverage around world as the company announced that it partnered with European satellite operator Eutelsat Communications to deliver satellite broadband Internet sub-Saharan Africa. The following year, one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets, the same rocket that will be carrying the satellites for the company as part of its new mission, exploded with Facebook's Eutelsat satellite on board - one of those meant improve connectivity in Africa.

Some of the other non-terrestrial connectivity plans detailed by Facebook include Aquila, the high-flying drone that beam Internet. It passed its first full-scale flight test test in July 2016.

Notably, satellite telecom firms OneWeb and Intelsat announced their merger earlier this year in order to create a financially stronger and flexible entity that can work towards improvement in broadband connectivity. The deal has been anticipated to accelerate OneWeb's plans to create a network of low-orbiting satellites to deliver high-speed Internet, similar to SpaceX's plans, in otherwise poorly connected areas around globe.

Of course it is not new for SpaceX to share ambitious plans as the company's CEO Elon Musk shared last year that his company has plans to colonise Mars by sending 100 humans at a time through spacecraft.

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