SpaceX successfully launched the fourth batch of 60 Starlink satellites into orbit. The company aims to fund their space program by offering internet services. Starlink will be a constellation of 12,000 satellites that will beam high-speed internet across the globe. SpaceX officials previously stated that Starlink will be affordable enough that areas where internet is non-existent, unreliable, or too expensive will benefit from their service. During today's live launch broadcast SpaceX Engineer Lauren Lyons said:
"Because Starlink satellites fly in a global constellation, we can bring high-speed Internet to places that previously had terrible service or no service at all. Some of the most exciting opportunities for Starlink are rural or remote locations where traditional fiber or cable just isn't practical."
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/rFRtJuTXFL— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 29, 2020
Successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed! pic.twitter.com/AHkQYB3uNV— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 29, 2020
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship – our 49th successful landing of an orbital class booster pic.twitter.com/QyR3zyPcIp— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 29, 2020
Ms. Tree caught a fairing half – our third successful catch! pic.twitter.com/VJU8asg4gS— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 29, 2020
Ms. Tree is equipped with a large net that is used to catch fairing halves as they fall from space. Each fairing half is equipped with small thrusters to orient themselves as they fall through Earth's atmosphere and they use parachutes to soft land into the ocean. Ocean water is corrosive due to salt, so the company wants to start catching fairings with boats to be able to reutilize them. They only caught one fairing half, the other one failed to land on another recovery ship named "Ms. Chief." SpaceX engineer said: "We will be pulling that fairing half out of the water and hopefully reusing it again in the future."
Follow me on Twitter Evelyn J. Arevalo