SpaceX wants to put a constellation of satellites around the Earth starting 2019

Elon Musk backed SpaceX has revealed its plans to launch thousands of satellites using Falcon 9 rockets. It has already asked the Federal Communications Commission to approve this constellation of about 4,4,25 satellites that would provide widespread broadband and communications coverage.

SpaceX has planned to use Falcon 9 rockets in stages and wants to begin launching these satellites from 2019 and finishing placing them into low-earth orbit by the year 2024 into low-earth orbit. The company also wants to launch spare satellites which will act as backup in case of a failure.

Patricia Cooper, SpaceX's vice president of satellite government affairs, told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, "SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle."

SpaceX is also planning to launch one prototype satellite by the end of this year, followed by a second in the early months of 2018.

Cooper further added that these satellites would help in curbing the issues of traditional broadband internet deployment, "The common challenges associated with sitting, digging trenches, laying fiber and dealing with property rights are materially alleviated through a space-based broadband network."

These satellites will be designed to last five to seven years. A year after its mission is over these satellites will re-enter Earth’s orbit, power down and burn up in the atmosphere. SpaceX had requested for permission from the US government to launch and maintain the constellation in November last year. "The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, government and professional users worldwide," SpaceX said in technical documents accompanying its filing.


Published Date: May 04, 2017 02:16 pm | Updated Date: May 04, 2017 02:16 pm