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SpaceX launches Starlink and BlackSky satellites

After weeks of delay, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sent up 57 more satellites for its Starlink broadband internet constellation, with two BlackSky planet-watching satellites hitching a ride.

The launch was originally scheduled for June, but had to be put off several times due to technical concerns, weather delays and range schedule conflicts. This time around, the countdown proceeded smoothly to liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 1:12 a.m. ET Aug. 7 (10:12 p.m. PT Aug. 6).

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SpaceX sends Starlink and Planet satellites to orbit

SpaceX today launched dozens more of its Starlink broadband internet satellites, plus three piggyback satellites for Planet — marking the first of the company’s in-house rideshare deliveries to orbit.

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SpaceX software team talks up Starlink satellites

Starlink satellite
An artist’s conception shows the deployment of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. (SpaceX Illustration)

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation is still deep into testing mode, but it’s already generating 5 trillion bytes of data on a daily basis and getting software updates on a weekly basis.

Those are a couple of the nuggets coming from a weekend Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session featuring SpaceX’s software team.

The main focus of the online chat was SpaceX’s successful mission sending NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station in a Crew Dragon capsule — but one of the team members, Matt Monson, has moved on from Dragon to take charge of Starlink software development.

Although SpaceX’s HQ is in Hawthorne, Calif., most of the work relating to the Starlink satellites is being done at the company’s facilities in Redmond, Wash.

SpaceX tends to play its satellite cards close to the vest, in part because the process of building a satellite system is “highly proprietary” — as one of the company’s vice presidents, Patricia Cooper, said in a 2016 filing with the Federal Communications Commission. For that reason, any nuggets about Starlink’s workings are avidly sought by SpaceX’s fans as well as the occasional inquiring journalist.

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SpaceX launches eighth batch of Starlink satellites

Less than a week after sending two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, SpaceX sent 60 more of its Starlink broadband internet satellites into low Earth orbit tonight, boosting the constellation to 480 satellites.

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SpaceX seeks regulatory changes for Starlink

Starlink launch
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 80 Starlink satellites into orbit on April 22. (SpaceX Photo)

In a new regulatory filing, SpaceX says it plans to start offering commercial broadband internet service using its Starlink satellite constellation in the northern U.S. and southern Canada by the end of this year.

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SpaceX launches Starlink satellites and sets record

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster executed its fourth successful launch and landing as part of a mission that put 60 more Starlink broadband internet satellites into orbit, marking the seventh such mission.

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SpaceX cleared for a million Starlink terminals

Starlink satellite
An artist’s conception shows the deployment of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. (SpaceX Illustration)

After months of consideration, the Federal Communications Commission has granted SpaceX a license for up to a million terminals that would work on the ground with the company’s Starlink satellite constellation to deliver global broadband internet service.

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SpaceX launches sixth batch of Starlink satellites

A  Falcon 9 rocket sent SpaceX’s sixth batch of 60 Starlink broadband satellites into orbit and set a record for reusability today, but missed making yet another touchdown.

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SpaceX aborts Starlink launch at last second

SpaceX’s planned launch of its sixth batch of 60 Starlink broadband satellites literally fizzled out today, due to an engine power problem on the Falcon 9 rocket.

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Elon Musk says there’s nothing to fear from Starlink

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk discusses Starlink and Starship during a fireside chat at the Satellite 2000 conference. (Via Satellite / Access Intelligence via YouTube)

Will SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellite constellation ruin astronomy? Will it threaten the telecom industry? Will SpaceX spin out Starlink anytime soon?

SpaceX’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, answered all three questions today at a fireside chat at the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, D.C.: No, no and no.

The session started late, and Musk seemed a bit tired — perhaps because he’d just come from working on SpaceX’s Starship super-rocket development project, which is taking shape at the company’s Boca Chica test facility in south Texas. Nevertheless, his fans rushed into the conference hall and hung on his every word.

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