SpaceX to launch high-speed Internet satellites into orbit in 2019

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,388   +121
Staff member

SpaceX has announced plans to begin launching an array of high-speed Internet-enabling satellites into low-Earth orbit come 2019. Using its Falcon 9 rocket, the space company aims to launch a total of 4,425 satellites in phases through 2024 that’ll be used to create a giant mesh network blanketing our planet.

Patricia Cooper, SpaceX's vice president of satellite government affairs, said during a Senate Commerce Committee broadband infrastructure hearing that SpaceX will begin testing the satellites by launching a prototype later this year and another in early 2018.

Assuming everything goes as planned, Cooper added, they’ll begin the operational satellite launch campaign in 2019.

By using the Falcon 9 reusable rocket delivery system, SpaceX will be able to save truckloads of money in getting them into orbit.

Satellite Internet service already exists although traditional implementations are expensive and suffer from both high latency and slow speeds. SpaceX, however, promises that its custom-designed system won’t be held back by such shortcomings.

While the wireless Internet delivery service would no doubt be convenient, some may be overlooking the fact that 4,425 of anything is a lot and it’d only add to the collection of space debris that humans have already put into orbit. The US Space Command's Joint Space Operations Center tracks some 22,000 pieces of pollution already orbiting the Earth.

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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,367   +5,777
If this just brings even faster Internet to the major cities, I don't care. I don't live in a major city, never want to, and likely never will.
 
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Raoul Duke

I'm not sure LEO has enough space for another 4,425 objects without shortly thereafter causing the Kessler syndrome.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,867
1: I wish Musk would just give a press conference, and declare himself, "the once and future king of all a**holes". Then he wouldn't have to persist in trying out so hard for the job.

2: It gives one pause to wonder if he'll be trying to use the same booster for all 4000+ launches.

3: Perhaps he will don his "designer spacesuit", and ram one of those satellites on his way to Mars, and we'll be rid of him.

4: Are these satellites going to happen before or after, he bores holes underground in all our major cities, so he can avoid traffic? Musk did say boring tunnels was slow going. My suggestion would be to start by nuking out the first hole under Space X's headquarters. After all, if it would be good enough for the Martian polar cap, it should be good enough to try here at home.

And last but not least, does anyone believe Musk will seek treatment for his ADHD, or will the authorities eventually have to force him to do it?
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,867
Other than yourself, I don't know of anyone else trying to get rid of him.
Oh, I don't think you've taken a large enough survey.
Musk's shtick is to propose business objectives which are highly unlikely to be accomplished in his lifetime. Then, when he milks money out of investors, they won't expect immediate returns. Then there's the IPO, and the stock market throws billions at companies who have blatantly admitted they're unlikely to turn a profit. ("snapchat" for one, IIRC) I suppose it's good for people who have tons of cash laying around, and can sell short. To me, it just looks like a Ponzie scheme.

And do you remember Musk selling a crap load of Tesla stock after the autopilot crash?

Although Musk has had some recent successes, he still presents as someone suffering from ADHD. Maybe he's living in a simulation, or maybe we are. (Another one of his hocus- pocus press conferences). He does get tedious in the extreme.

Do you have a few grand laying around to invest in his "boring company"? Tell me, do you think that's a pun, or a straight up bullsh!t story?