Elon Musk says Starlink now has enough satellites in orbit to launch a public beta of its high-speed internet service

  • Elon Musk said on Tuesday that SpaceX’s internet satellite project, Starlink, had launched enough satellites for its public beta.
  • Once the most recently launched satellites are in position, the company will roll out a “fairly wide public beta” in the northern US and southern Canada, Musk tweeted.
  • Starlink’s goal is to put a constellation of satellites into orbit that can beam high-speed internet to remote parts of Earth.

Elon Musk’s goal of beaming high-speed internet to remote parts of Earth using orbiting satellites just got a step closer to reality.

SpaceX on Tuesday launched a batch of 60 Starlink satellites, bringing the total number in orbit to more than 700, according to Ars Technica. Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, said this was enough for a public beta.

“Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US & hopefully southern Canada,” he tweeted after the launch.

This beta would include the Detroit metro area and Ann Arbor, Michigan, he said in response to a question.

“Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval,” he added.

Musk did not say exactly when the satellites were expected to reach their “target position,” and Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told Ars Technica that they might not be in place until February.

Musk said in April that a public beta for the service would be up and running in the fall. He also said in May 2019 that a commercially viable “initial” version of Starlink’s service for the US would be possible with 400 satellites, while 800 would be enough for “significant” global coverage.

So it’s possible, as Ars Technica’s report noted, that the public beta will get underway

Musk: SpaceX’s Starlink has enough orbiting satellites for public beta

  • Elon Musk said Tuesday that SpaceX’s internet satellite project, Starlink, has now launched enough satellites for its public beta.
  • Musk tweeted that once the most-recently launched satellites are in position, the company will roll out a “fairly wide public beta” in the northern US and southern Canada.
  • The goal of Starlink is to put a constellation of satellites into orbit that can beam high-speed internet to remote parts of the Earth.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Elon Musk’s goal of beaming high-speed internet to remote parts of the Earth using orbiting satellites just got a step closer to reality.

SpaceX on Tuesday successfully launched a batch of 60 satellites, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites in orbit to more than 700, per Ars Technica. Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, said this is enough for a public beta.

“Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US & hopefully southern Canada,” he tweeted following the launch.

This beta would include the Detroit metro area and Ann Arbor, Michigan, he said, responding to a question on Twitter.

“Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval,” he added.

Musk did not say exactly when the spacecraft were expected to reach their “target position,” and astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told Ars Technica that it’s possible they might not be in place until February 2021.

Musk said in April that a public beta for the service would be up and running in Fall 2020. He also said in May 2019 that a commercially viable “initial” version of Starlink’s service for the US would be possible with 400 satellites, while 800 would be enough for “significant” global

SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites Tuesday, breaks scrub streak

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A Falcon 9 blasts off on Aug. 30.


SpaceX

Space fans have been starved for action lately, with three big missions repeatedly scrubbed and postponed over the past several weeks. But early on Tuesday, SpaceX finally ended the streak that became known as #Scrubtober (and previously known as #Scrubtember) with the launch and deployment of 60 new Starlink satellites via a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. 

This Starlink mission was the Falcon 9 rocket booster’s third flight overall. It sent astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit in May and then launched a South Korean satellite in July. So far, SpaceX has managed to launch and land the same rocket up to six times

The Falcon 9 first stage landed again on the droneship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic about 8.5 minutes after launch Tuesday. SpaceX also reports that it caught at least one of the fairing halves that flew on two previous missions.

The launch, originally scheduled for September, was postponed multiple times, including twice last week due to heavy clouds in one case and an aberrant ground sensor reading in another. Monday’s scrub was yet again blamed on weather. 

Another SpaceX mission to launch a US Space Force GPS satellite has also been scrubbed multiple times, most recently on Friday. Meanwhile, United Launch Alliance has been trying to get one of its Delta IV Heavy rockets off the ground since August, but has been delayed at least six times. 

Musk expressed his clear frustration with the series of scrubs last week.

“We will need to make a lot of improvements to have a chance of completing 48 launches next year!” Musk tweeted Friday.

SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites, breaks ‘Scrubtober’ delay streak

egxpl5rucaatfpr

A Falcon 9 blasts off on Aug. 30.


SpaceX

Space fans have been starved for action lately, with three big missions repeatedly scrubbed and postponed over the past several weeks. But early on Tuesday, SpaceX finally ended the streak that became known as #Scrubtober (the hashtag previously known as #Scrubtember) with the launch and deployment of 60 new Starlink satellites via a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. 

This Starlink mission was the Falcon 9 rocket booster’s third flight overall. It sent astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit in May and then launched a South Korean satellite in July. So far, SpaceX has managed to launch and land the same rocket up to six times

The Falcon 9 first stage landed again on the droneship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic about 8.5 minutes after launch Tuesday. SpaceX also reports that it caught at least one of the fairing halves that flew on two previous missions.

The launch, originally scheduled for September, was postponed multiple times, including twice last week due to heavy clouds in one case and an aberrant ground sensor reading in another. Monday’s scrub was yet again blamed on weather. 

Another SpaceX mission to launch a US Space Force GPS satellite has also been scrubbed multiple times, most recently on Friday. Meanwhile, United Launch Alliance has been trying to get one of its Delta IV Heavy rockets off the ground since August, but has been delayed at least six times. 

Musk expressed his clear frustration with the series of scrubs last week.

“We will need to make a lot of improvements to have a chance of completing 48 launches next year!” Musk tweeted Friday.

Elon Musk Says SpaceX Closer to Testing Starlink Internet in U.S. After Launch of 60 More Satellites

SpaceX has successfully launched 60 more “Starlink” satellites into orbit as part of its mission to beam high-speed internet back to Earth.

The Elon Musk-led company released multiple videos of the takeoff to social media this morning, which took place at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:29 a.m. EDT. Liftoff yesterday was scrubbed due to unfavorable weather.

Blasted into space onboard a Falcon9 reusable rocket, the satellites will be added to a constellation of satellites that is currently more than 400-strong.

“Falcon 9 launches 60 Starlink satellites to orbit, completing SpaceX‘s 43rd flight of a previously flown rocket booster,” the company tweeted earlier today.

Footage uploaded by the company included the Falcon9’s first stage landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You,” a droneship platform that’s stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The touchdown happened within 8 minutes and 30 seconds, the clip shows.

SpaceX said on its website that the Starlink satellites cleanly deployed approximately one hour and one minute after liftoff, confirmed by a full video of the launch.

“You can see the Starlink satellites gently floating away from the second stage,” the webcast host was heard commenting during the livestream.

“Shortly, once they have had a chance to space out a little bit, they [the satellites] will deploy their solar arrays and, over the next few days and weeks, they will start to distance themselves using their on-board ion thrusters to make their way to their final operational orbits about 550 kilometers above the Earth’s surface,” the host said.

It was good news for billionaire CEO Musk, who tweeted after the deployment that it meant a beta test of Starlink internet in the U.S. was now closer than ever.

“Once these satellites reach their target position, we will