SpaceX to launch in­ter­net satel­lite

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD -

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.

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