Falcon 9 Rocket Delivers Spanish Satellite After Vandenberg AFB Liftoff
- Author: Carolyn Briggs Feb 23, 2018,
Feb 23, 2018, 22:56
The two satellites will attempt to beam the message "Hello world" later today when they pass over Los Angeles.
SpaceX's filings with the US Federal Communications Commission point out that the constellation will be used for fixed satellite services (FSS), such as backhaul for transmitting data around the globe.
Shortly after liftoff, Spain's PAZ satellite successfully entered orbit. This can happen once Musk's engineers have about 800 satellites in Low Earth Orbit, which should be completed during 2020-2021.
They include OneWeb, a startup that's attracted backing from the likes of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, Coca-Cola and Qualcomm.
The primary payload of the rocket was not actually the two prototypes but another satellite called Paz. Financial projections show Starlink will have roughly 40 million subscribers by 2025 and pull in $30 billion in revenue per year.
The launch is expected to send up a Spanish company's radar satellite and two experimental SpaceX satellites. It features a radar technology designed by Hisdesat and a capability of taking more than a hundred clear images regardless of weather conditions and time of day.
It'll take years for the full network to go into operation, and SpaceX appears to be scaling back its original plan of being an ISP for everyone.
So one goal of Thursday's launch was to catch the rocket's "fairing," or nose cone - the covering that protects the rocket's payload - after it's deployed and falls to Earth.
The launch was supposed to happen Sunday 18 February 2018 but SpaceX moved plans to launch due to performing "final checks', and rescheduled for February 21st".
Nevertheless, the launch itself was successful and the payload has successfully reached its orbit.
Usually, this part of the rocket is thrown away but if the fairings are able to be recovered Musk has estimated that the space company could save 6 million United States dollars per launch. The company will not make an attempt to recover the first stage of the rocket.
Soon after the launch, the rocket geared up to Max-Q which is the maximum dynamic pressure on the rocket within few minutes and then, finally hitting the maximum speed of around 27,669 km/h.
SpaceX anticipated the fairings' descent and are standing by with a specially equipped ship, called Mr. Steven, with a net that's created to catch at least one of the falling cones.