The latest reports reveal that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully took to the skies from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida carrying with it another 60 Starlink satellites on Sunday.
Internet Across The Globe
Further, the two-stage rocket is described by SpaceX as “the first orbital-class rocket capable of reflight’.
It has been making frequent trips shuttling Starlink satellites into low orbit as SpaceX founder Elon Musk expects to close in on his goal of providing low-latency, broadband internet to every part of the globe.
After the successful deployment, SpaceX tweeted that “Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship, completing the ninth flight of that booster,”.
Huge Numbers Of Satellite
This success will be an addition to the already mammoth constellation of Starlink satellites that they have launched already.
So far, the company has launched roughly 1,000 satellites and hopes to take this tally up to 40,000.
When that happens then the 40,000 figure will be almost five times the total number of satellites that humans have ever launched into space.
If we consider the market stakes, currently, about a third of all active satellites in orbit are owned by SpaceX.
This move is expected to provide internet access across the globe with the help of a mega-constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit.
So far, the large and small metropolitan areas in the world do already benefit from high-speed connectivity.
But, access to the internet in remote areas remains to be a huge problem to be solved.
Feasible And Affordable Services
In February 2021, SpaceX already had 10,000 customers. Out of them, several customers effectively acted as beta testers.
They have spoken in glowing terms of its quality when many conventional telecom outfits continue to doubt its feasibility and affordability of the services.
Currently, the service is priced at $99 per month.
However, costs will fall significantly on a year-on-year basis, once the technology becomes more robust as mentioned by Musk.
Criticism By Astronomy Community
The Starlink project had been criticized by the astronomy community as they have raised concerns over the Starlink satellite’s size.
According to them, they are quite large at around 550 lbs and may come to affect ground-based telescopes critical to space exploration and the advancement of cosmology.
In response, SpaceX began fitting retractable sun visors on their Starlink satellites to reduce the light reflected off them, thereby causing them to interfere less with astronomical observations.