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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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Rocket
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)

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Electric Vehicle Maker Tesla Has Not Met CEO Elon Musk’s Q2 Production Goal

However, despite many missed deadlines and sales figures for previous quarters, the EV maker could be well on its track to having a record sales in Q2, delivering a thousand cars per day on average this month

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)
Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Tesla has not met CEO Elon Musk’s second quarter (Q2) record production goal, according to media reports.
“At the end of May, a leaked email reportedly sent by Elon Musk to Tesla employees suggested that the electric vehicle maker had a good chance of making Q2 the highest deliveries and sales quarter in its history.
“An email believed to be sent to all Tesla employees by Musk on May 22 appeared on message boards, after a growing number of investment banks and analysts outlined bear case scenarios for the EV maker,” the Oilprice.com reported on Wednesday.
Charging problems with electric car
Tesla cars recharge at a Tesla station at a shopping center in Charlotte, N.C., June 24, 2017. Buyers of Tesla’s luxury models have access to a company-funded Supercharger network. VOA
The email believed to be sent by the Tesla Chief Executive Officer (CEO) also said that the EV maker needs sustained production of 1,000 Model 3s every day in order to beat the previous record, while its production rate has averaged 900 Model 3s in the third week of May.
However, despite many missed deadlines and sales figures for previous quarters, the EV maker could be well on its track to having a record sales in Q2, delivering a thousand cars per day on average this month, according to a report in the Electrek. (IANS)