SpaceX launches 60 more mini satellites for global internet

People watch as the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at NASAs Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 2019. (AFP)

SpaceX launched 60 mini satellites Monday, the second batch of an orbiting network meant to provide global internet coverage.

The Falcon rocket blasted into the morning sky, marking the unprecedented fourth flight of a booster for SpaceX. The compact flat-panel satellites — just 575 pounds (260 kilograms) each — will join 60 launched in May.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk wants to put thousands of these Starlink satellites in orbit, to offer high-speed internet service everywhere. He plans to start service next year in the northern US and Canada, with global coverage for populated areas after 24 launches.

Last month, Musk used an orbiting Starlink satellite to send a tweet: “Whoa, it worked!!”

Employees gathered at company bases on both coasts cheered when the first-stage booster landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic.

“These boosters are designed to be used 10 times. Let’s turn it around for a fifth, guys,” the company’s launch commentator said.

This also marked the first time SpaceX used a previously flown nose cone. The California-based company reuses rocket parts to cut costs.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:01 - GMT 07:01
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