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).
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.
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.
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.
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.