SpaceX to launch internet satellite
LOS ANGELES — SpaceX plans to launch its first demonstration satellite on Wednesday for its internet-inspace project.
It plans eventually to have thousands of small satellites delivering broadband access around the world.
SpaceX is slated to launch a rocket from a pad at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at 6:17 am on Wednesday. The launch’s primary mission is to deliver an observational satellite, called PAZ, for the Spanish government.
The California-based company has delayed the launch of its next Falcon 9 rocket to allow final checks of the rocket’s upgraded nose cone. The rocket was scheduled to launch early on Sunday.
“Team at Vandenberg is taking additional time to perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing. Payload and vehicle remain healthy. Due to mission requirements, now targeting Feb 21 launch of PAZ,” the company tweeted.
Paz won’t be riding alone on the recycled Falcon 9. Quietly on board will be two experimental broadband satellites, Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, a big first step in SpaceX’s long-term plans to create satellite internet over the next decade.
SpaceX wants to create a giant constellation of thousands of broadband satellites that will orbit in a synchronized dance above Earth, beaming internet connectivity to antenna receivers on the planet’s surface.
The company’s goal, according to projections obtained by the Wall Street Journal, is to have subscribed over 40 million customers by 2025, which would amount to nearly $30 billion in total revenue.
The booster, an older Block 3 Falcon 9 model, will be discarded in the ocean after its flight.