SpaceX Starlink’s first launch in a while blasts off Wednesday – CNET

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A batch of Starlinks being deployed.


SpaceX

After near weekly launches in March, SpaceX is set for its next Starlink mission Wednesday, which will be just the second batch sent to orbit this month.

The latest set of sixty of the company’s small satellites will join the growing broadband mega-constellation, which is quickly approaching 1,500 flying routers in low-earth orbit.

Starlink is the global broadband service that Elon Musk is banking on to help finance his dreams of moving a chunk of humanity to Mars. The goal is to offer high-speed internet access to just about any point on planet earth with better speed and lower latency compared to legacy satellite services that operate from much higher altitudes with far fewer satellites.

The service has been expanding its beta test since October and says it could be just a few more launches away from offering continuous coverage around the globe. Beta testers currently pay $99 per month (£72, AU$129) plus $499 (£360, AU$652) for a user terminal. SpaceX has said it expects the cost of the terminal to come down over the next few years.

The last Starlink launch was April 7, but SpaceX has been keeping busy in the intervening weeks. The Crew-2 launch saw astronauts ride to the International Space Station aboard a Crew Dragon last week, and there was also the news that NASA has selected Starship to land on the surface of the moon through its Artemis program.

Wednesday’s Starlink mission is set to launch at 8:44 p.m. PT (11:44 p.m. ET) from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket is set to land on a droneship in the Atlantic shortly after blast-off.

The whole thing will be livestreamed by SpaceX as usual via the feed below.

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