SpaceX successfully launches 60 satellites into orbit

Saturday, 25 May, 2019

The spaceflight will be broadcast via the space company's website and YouTube.

The launch came after two previous planned launches were cancelled due to heavy winds and additional safety checks.

The satellites were launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, using one of the company's Falcon 9 rockets.

The second attempt, which was scheduled for the day after, was also cancelled as the company wanted to re-check its systems before launching the satellites.

As the images from the landmark launch started pouring in, loyal followers of the SpaceX boss took to Twitter to share their thoughts.

"Standing down to update satellite software and triple-check everything again", the space company said.

Coverage of the launch will be provided by SpaceX Live via their webcast.

SpaceX's aims to provide 1Gbps internet in rural areas through 12,000 Starlink satellites. CEO Elon Musk said last week that a minimum of six more launches - of 60 satellites apiece - are needed for minor coverage, and 12 more for moderate coverage. That rocket has now been used three times, cementing SpaceX's capability in reusing rockets.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft sits on launch pad 39A prior to the uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 1, 2019. The only difference will be that this first batch will not have the capability to communicate with each other while they are in orbit.

Tonight, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket packed with 60 production-grade Starlink satellites, sending into orbit the first round of satellites that it plans to grow into a network of just over 11,000 satellites that will bring high-speed Internet access to every point on the Earth's surface.

According to the BBC, SpaceX said it intends to be a responsible actor and had given its satellites the ability themselves to track orbital debris and to autonomously avoid it.

It could even set SpaceX up to beat out competitors such as Amazon and SoftBank-backed OneWeb, which each want to form Internet constellations of their own. OneWeb, which is backed by Richard Branson's Virgin and Qualcomm, launched its first six satellites on February 27, off the back of Arianespace's Russian Soyuz-2.