SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with 60 Starlink satelites lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on Thursday. AFP
High-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida on Thursday on a mission to carry the first batch of five dozen small satellites into low-Earth orbit for his new Starlink internet service.
The rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at about 10:30pm local time (0230 GMT Friday), marking a milestone in a global enterprise aimed at generating cash for Musk’s larger ambitions in space.
The launch came a week after two back-to-back countdowns for the mission were scrubbed - once due to high winds over the Cape and the next night in order to update satellite software and “triple-check” all systems.
The Falcon 9 was due to release its cargo of 60 satellites into orbit about an hour after Thursday’s launch. Each one weighs 500 pounds (227 kg), making it the heaviest payload for any SpaceX rocket to date.
Those satellites are designed to form the initial phase a planned constellation capable of beaming signals for high-speed internet service from space to paying customers around the globe.
Musk has said he sees the new Starlink venture as an important new revenue stream for his California-based Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, whose launch service income he expects to top out at around $3 billion a year.
Speaking to reporters last week, Musk said that makes Starlink pivotal in helping pay for his larger goals of developing a new spacecraft to fly paying customers to the moon and for eventually trying to colonize Mars.
“We think this is a key stepping stone on the way towards establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon,” said Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who is also chief executive officer of automaker Tesla Inc.
At least 12 launches carrying similar payloads are needed to achieve constant internet coverage of most of the world, Musk said. Starlink is only currently authorized for operations in the United States.
Musk faces stiff competition. In February, Airbus SE-backed OneWeb launched its own clutch of satellites, while LeoSat Enterprises and Canada’s Telesat are also working to build data networks.
In each network, the tiny satellites orbit closer to Earth than traditional communications satellites, a technological shift made possible by advances in laser technology and computer chips.
Musk said SpaceX would begin approaching customers later this year or next year. As many as 2,000 satellites will be launched per year, with the ultimate objective of placing up to 12,000 into orbit.Reuters
iSpace’s Hyperbola-1 rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre at 1pm (0500 GMT) Thursday, sending two satellites and payloads into a predetermined orbit,
A Malaysian tech firm claims to have developed the world's first mobile and desktop browser that is compliant with Islamic values to target the worlds 1.8 billion Muslims by offering them a safe and ethically-sensitive online experience.
A Falcon rocket raced into the pre-dawn darkness, carrying a Dragon capsule with 5,500 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of goods. This recycled Dragon — which is making its second space trip — is due to arrive at the orbiting lab on Monday.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) took part in the Dubai Airshow 2019, one of the world’s largest events in the aerospace industry, bringing together the leading aerospace and defence industries regionally and globally, from Nov.17-21.
Since the Quranic Park opened its doors for visitors, every day thousands of people regardless of their nationality have been visiting the unique park and within seven month, the Dubai Municipality has celebrated the arrival of one million visitors. The new milestone makes it one of the most attractive parks for tourists in the region. The success of the project, which cost more than Dhs200 million, comes as a crown among the several successful tourism projects of Dubai Municipality including Dubai Frame, the largest frame structure in the world, which was also visited by two million people.
Residents and visitors of Ajman Marina have witnessed the great success of the Car Boot Sale, organised by Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD). A large number of vendors and traders who took part in the sale and attracted a sizeable crowd.