Elon Mask project to create a global systemsatellites designed to provide earthlings with inexpensive internet is gaining momentum. On April 22, SpaceX carried out a planned launch of the Falcon 9 rocket with the seventh group of 60 Starlink satellites.
After a successful launch, the reusable firstthe Falcon 9 stage, which has already launched spacecraft into space three times, made a planned landing on the Of Course I Still Love You offshore platform in the Atlantic Ocean. Altogether, SpaceX has already completed 52 successful landings of reusable steps. It is noteworthy that the Falcon 9 ships launched for the 84th time, which is a record for the current American spacecraft. The previous leader - the ship ULA Atlas 5 made 83 flights.
The launch on April 22 was carried out by the Falcon 9 rocket,serial number B5 B1051.4, from the launch pad LC-39A, located at Kennedy Cosmodrome at Cape Canaveral, at 22:31 Moscow time. The separation of the first stage occurred after 2.5 minutes, and at 9 minutes after the start, the stage had already landed on a floating platform. The technical parameters of the existing Falcon 9 rocket modification allow multiple launches: up to 10 times subject to inter-flight technical inspections and up to 100 times when replacing parts of the first stage.
The second stage of the Falcon 9 brought 60 satellitesStarlink to the delivery point, from where they independently, using ion engines will enter a working orbit 550 km high. As a result, 420 Starlink satellites are in orbit, with the exception of a few spacecraft orbits. According to Ilon Mask, this amount is enough to minimize the Internet coverage of certain territories. However, stable operation requires at least 780 satellites.
The total number of satellites on which SpaceX is alreadyreceived permission from the regulator of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is 12 thousand pieces. In addition, in October 2019, the company applied for the launch of another 30 thousand spacecraft. Earlier, in March 2019, SpaceX received the go-ahead to deploy a ground-based system in the United States, consisting of one million stations, which are an ordinary tower with a satellite dish.
The first Starlink customers will begin to receiveInternet from space by the end of this year, and beta testing will begin this summer. The Starlink network will be operating at full capacity by the mid-2020s and is valued at $ 10 billion. The income from the operation of the Internet network will be up to $ 30 billion per year.
While there is no exact data about the prices of the “Internet Mask”, however, it is known from the statements of the SpaceX management that the speed will be 5-10 times higher and the tariffs lower than those currently existing from traditional providers.
After the implementation of the project, Elon Musk planscreate a separate company from SpaceX specializing in broadcasting the Internet and make it public by listing on the stock exchange. In May, the next launch will be carried out under the Starlink project, and by the end of the year it is planned to complete a total of 8 more launches.
However, SpaceX's most anticipated eventwill be a manned launch of Crew Dragon on the Demo-2 project, which is scheduled for May 27. As a result, astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley will be delivered to the ISS, which will be in orbit for 110 days. This will be the first launch of a manned spacecraft from the United States since 2011, when the Space Shuttle program was completed.