(Mirror Daily, United States) – The private spaceflight company SpaceX has been talking about a fleet of internet-providing satellites that could bring the Internet to the planet’s most remote places for years.
Now, according to a document on the FCC website, the company plans to launch two of those mini-satellites this week. There are thousands more to come.
While the details of the satellites have not been made public, the media has long known that a launch date was near. A mystery letter on the Federal Communications Commission’s website places that date this weekend.
In 2017, SpaceX told the United States Congress that the first pair of satellites would be launched at the end of the year. Those demo satellites never made it to the orbit until this week. Also, if all goes well, SpaceX will be able to deploy the first operational satellite next year.
The company’s letter to the FCC reads that the two demo satellites, dubbed Microsat 2a and 2b, will reach lower-orbit on board one of the firm’s Falcon 9 rockets. That rocket will also ferry a Spanish-backed radar satellite called Paz (or “Peace”) into space.
A first test of the rocket was carried out over the weekend. The liftoff is scheduled for 6:17AM, on Feb 17, 2018 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base. We should expect some delays as SpaceX plans have not always gone according to the schedule.
The company hopes all the mini satellites to reach space by 2024. The total costs of the endeavor stands at $10 billion, but SpaceX founder Elon Musk expects the project to generate a handsome revenue afterward.
The extra cash will be directed to the company’s other ambitious project: the Mars mission. In 2015, Musk tweeted that the satellite project dubbed “Starlink” would bring in “a significant amount of revenue”. Musk wants the money to be used on building a city on Mars.
Image Source: Flickr
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