Tuesday June 25, 2019
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SpaceX launches Falcon 9 with first broadband internet satellites

According to the mission description, equipped with an advanced radar instrument, PAZ will cover the entire globe in 24 hours, serving both commercial and government needs

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The Falcon 9's first stage separates from the second stage moments after about two minutes from liftoff.
SpaceX scraps plan to upgrade Falcon 9 for more 'reusability'. Wikimedia Commons
  • A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4E
  • The launch’s primary mission is to deliver PAZ, a radar-imaging satellite, into orbit for the Spain-based company Hisdesat
  • The company has been relatively mum about the debut of its Starlink satellites, and about the entire programme itself

SpaceX has completed another launch of its Falcon 9 rocket with first two prototype satellites of its global broadband internet-in-space project, Starlink, successfully deployed in orbit.

A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4E at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Falcon 9’s first stage separates from the second stage moments after about two minutes from liftoff.

The launch’s primary mission is to deliver PAZ, a radar-imaging satellite, into orbit for the Spain-based company Hisdesat.

“Successful deployment of PAZ satellite to low-Earth orbit confirmed,” the California-based company confirmed.

“First two Starlink demo satellites, called Tintin A & B, deployed and communicating to Earth stations,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the mission description, equipped with an advanced radar instrument, PAZ will cover the entire globe in 24 hours, serving both commercial and government needs. Designed for a mission life of five and a half years, PAZ will orbit Earth 15 times per day, covering an area of over 300,000 sq. km from an altitude of 514 km and a velocity of seven km per second.

However, Paz was not riding alone on the recycled Falcon 9. Quietly on board were SpaceX’s two experimental broadband satellites, Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, a big first step in SpaceX’s long-term plan to create satellite internet over the next decade.

The company has been relatively mum about the debut of its Starlink satellites, and about the entire programme itself.

Also Read: Elon Musk Unveils Plans to put Humans on Mars by 2024

“The Falcon launch carries 2 SpaceX test satellites for global broadband. If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served,” Musk said on Wednesday.

According to the open files between SpaceX and the U.

S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in the coming years, the private U. S. space firm hopes to create a giant constellation of about 12,000 of interlinked broadband-internet satellites that will orbit in a synchronized dance above the Earth, delivering broadband access anywhere in the world.

A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4E at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.
A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4E at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. Wikimedia Commons

Some 4,425 satellites will sit at low earth orbit (LEO), an estimate of 1,150 to 1,325 km above the Earth, while another 7,518 satellites will be launched into very-low-earth orbits (VLEO), some 335 to 346 km above the Earth.

According to a tally by the Union of Concerned Scientists, there are 1,738 satellites currently orbiting the Earth.

Earlier this month, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave his endorsement to SpaceX’s application to operate two huge constellations of broadband satellites.

Falcon 9’s first stage for the mission previously supported the FORMOSAT-5 mission from SLC-4E in August 2017. SpaceX didn’t attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after Thursday’s launch because it “was an older version booster.”

Also Read: NASA’s Kepler Discovers Nearly 100 New Exoplanets

However, there is another heightened interest in this launch.

By using “Mr. Steven,” a large navigable platform ship with extended “arms” and a net strung between them, SpaceX was trying to “catch” at least one of the two payload fairings that enclose the satellite at the top of the rocket.

These fairings were separated from the rocket at about three minutes after launch.

The value of these fairings is about $6 million, and recovering and reusing them would save money for SpaceX. Currently, a typical Falcon 9 launch costs around $62 million. (IANS)

Next Story

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Forecasts Grim Future of Human Race

Musk first broached the topic back in 2017 when Musk replied to a publication saying, “The world’s population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care."

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s grim forecast of humanity suggests that a “population bomb” would lead to a worldwide collapse in humans in the coming decades and everybody would start to see the evident effects by 2050.

Musk’s prediction was triggered by a tweet from a page called World of Engineering that said: “1950 (historical) world population – 2,556,000,053. Current world population – 7,712,343,478. 2050 (projected) world population – 9,346,399,468.”

Replying to that tweet on Friday Musk wrote: “Real issue will be an ageing and declining world population by 2050, *not* overpopulation.”

Musk also shared a Wikipedia link to an article titled, “Projections of population growth”.

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

“Yes, demographics, stratified by age, will look like an upside down pyramid with many old people and fewer young,” the multi-billionaire entrepreneur wrote further.

Also Read- Report: 1.8 Millions in Central African Republic Suffering Acute Food Shortages

The SpaceX CEO’s theory believes that when an increasingly-elderly global population clashes with declining birth rates around the world in the near future a ‘population bomb’ would go off, web portal Futurism reported.

Musk first broached the topic back in 2017 when Musk replied to a publication saying, “The world’s population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care.” (IANS)