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22 February 2018, 12:26 | Rudolph Thomas
SpaceX to launch satellite for low-cost internet across globe on February 17
Launching the nearly 12,000 internet satellites would not come cheap, but SpaceX is also expecting a lot of profit in return. Or maybe not. What seems like a routine launch this week may have greater implications for the company's future and profits.
In his letter to the FCC (Federal communications Commission USA), the company SpaceX announced that two experimental satellite, Microsat-Microsat 2a and-2b will be launched by a single rocket, the Falcon 9, which also will orbit the radar observation satellite Paz, belonging to the Spanish government. These two satellites are part of Starlink, a 12,000 satellite constellation aimed to provide ultrafast and reliable internet connection across the globe.
But for consumers, companies such as SpaceX believe a different approach could help lower costs and increase reliability, making satellite broadband practical for everyday use.
The plan is to launch of the first two prototypes for its "vast satellite-internet constellation".
But SpaceX is not the only company in the game.
SpaceX didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. "If adopted, it would be the first approval given to an American-based company to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies".
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on February 6, 2018 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The idea is to send satellites into space (4,425 to be exact) that can then be used to provide broadband access to people on Earth.
Other players include Boeing, Audacy, Karousel, LeoSat MA, O3b (owned by SES), Space Norway, Telesat Canada, Theia Holdings and ViaSat.
The broadband satellites by SpaceX is an attempt by Elon Musk promoted company to enter the domain of internet service providers and if things go as planned, SpaceX may be able to provide 5G like services to billions around the world. The rocket will carry the PAZ satellite for Hisdesat of Madrid, Spain along with multiple smaller secondary payloads. It's simple math for SpaceX; considering it'll need every penny to realize its Mars ambitions, a few billion in internet revenue couldn't hurt.
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