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Elon Musk’s SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellites, Eyes Global Internet Coverage

SpaceX will need another six missions, according to Musk, before Starlink can provide consistent Internet coverage for small parts of the world

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket stands ready for launch on pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 5, 2018 VOA

SpaceX has taken a giant leap towards making global Internet coverage a reality as its fifth Falcon 9 rocket of the year took flight, sending 60 Internet-beaming Starlink satellites into space.

The Falcon 9 lifted off at 10.30 p.m. on Thursday from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, following several delays: first a 24-hour delay due to high upper-level winds on May 15, and then a week-long delay so SpaceX could give the onboard satellites a software upgrade, reports Space.com.

Tucked inside the rocket’s nose cone were 60 satellites — the first batch of SpaceX’s Starlink mega-constellation, which the company hopes will help provide affordable Internet coverage to the world.

Following the successful launch, the rocket’s first stage gently touched down on a floating platform at sea, marking the company’s 40th booster recovery.

It was the third flight for this particular booster, marking just the second time SpaceX has flown a Falcon 9 first stage more than twice.

Getting the full constellation up and running will cost in the ballpark of $10 billion dollars, and SpaceX owner Elon Musk has conceded that such efforts have bankrupted others, such as the satellite operator Iridium, reports CNN.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia

But when asked about funding for Starlink last week, he said the company has “sufficient capital” to carry out its plans. He added that SpaceX’s latest funding round attracted “more interest than we were seeking”.

In April, the company sought to raise about $400 million.

If SpaceX confirms most or all of its satellites deployed successfully, and they are able to make contract with ground stations, the launch will mark the largest step forward for any company attempting such a project.

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It could even set SpaceX up to beat out competitors such as Amazon and SoftBank-backed OneWeb, which each want to form Internet constellations of their own.

SpaceX will need another six missions, according to Musk, before Starlink can provide consistent Internet coverage for small parts of the world.

It will take 12 launches before the company can provide coverage for a significant portion of the world’s population, he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Elon Musk Wins in Defamation Trial Over his ‘Pedo Guy’ Tweet

"Anybody that knows this man knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Elon's accusations were false," Wood said outside court. "This was not the justice that he deserved under the evidence

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

Multi-billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk has emerged triumphant from a defamation trial as the federal court jury swiftly rejected the $190 million claim brought against him by a British man over “pedo guy” tweet, who helped with the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooding Thai cave.

Both Musk and Vernon Unsworth were present for the closing remarks.

Musk appeared unhappy during the closing remarks, while Unsworth, whose back was to the jury, at times looked to be wiping tears from his eyes as Spiro spoke, The Verge reported on Friday.

During the last hearing, Musk’s lawyer told the jury the tweet did not rise to the level of defamation and cases over insults didn’t belong in federal courtrooms.

While, leaving the courtroom, Musk told reporters: “My faith in humanity is restored, the jury did the right thing.”

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. Wikimedia Commons

“I accept the jury verdict, take it on the chin, and move on,” Unsworth said outside court.

As per report, in closing remarks, Unsworth’s attorney, L. Lin Wood, characterized one of Musk’s tweets as “sue or true”. Wood said he believed Musk got involved in the Thai cave rescue as a publicity stunt.

“I believe Elon Musk saw an opportunity to capitalize on the attention,” Wood said in his closing statement.

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Additionally, Wood asked for $5 million in actual damages, $35 million in assumed damages and $150 million in punitive damages.

“Anybody that knows this man knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Elon’s accusations were false,” Wood said outside court. “This was not the justice that he deserved under the evidence.” (IANS)