Video: SpaceX to launch space internet satellites

Elon Musk's rocket-launching service, SpaceX[1], is planning to launch hundreds of satellites -- Starlink -- to deliver internet around the globe from Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved its request to create a satellite network to deliver "high-speed,[2] reliable, and affordable broadband service[3]" to consumers in the US and across the world.

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The first real step to this goal came when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the first two test Starlink satellites[5], dubbed Tintin A and B by Musk, from California's Vandenberg Air Force base on Feb. 22, 2018.

The Starlink constellation of satellites will form a mesh network in space using V band,[6] which covers 40GHz to 75GHz, to connect with each other. They'll then use use Ka/Ku radio bands[7] to deliver internet to Earth-bound receivers. If all goes well, they'll deliver 1Gbps to its customers.

Musk plan's for the system is to go operational once 800 satellites have been deployed. Eventually, there will be 4,425 satellites for the provision of fixed-satellite service (FSS) around the world. This is far more communication satellites than have ever been launched before for a single system. SpaceX hopes to see Starlink operational by the mid-2020s.

SpaceX is far from the only one in the LEO satellite internet business. OneWeb[8], which already had FCC approval, will launch its network up with Amazon's Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin[9] rockets starting in 2020. Its mesh network will top out with 720 satellites using the Ku band.

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