In 2019 SpaceX launched two batches of 60 Starlink satellitesâ€”one experimental, and the second operational. On Monday, the company plans to add 60 more satellites with a nighttime launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
If all goes to plan, this mission will be just the first of as many as 20 Starlink launches this year as SpaceX builds up a constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide global Internet service. SpaceX may begin to offer "bumpy" service by the middle of this year to some consumers.
Following this next launch, scheduled for 9:19pm ET Monday (02:19 UTC Tuesday), SpaceX will have a constellation of nearly 180 satellites in low-Earth orbit, each weighing a little more than 220kg. This will make the company simultaneously the world's largest private satellite operator (eclipsing Planet Labs), while also being the most active private launch company.
Whilst the connectivity will be great especially for under serviced areas one wonders what some governments will think (or do) where they restrict/censor access to the Internet (like Australia, China, Russia, North Korea, etc)? Will they take it lying down or shoot down the satellites?
#connectivity With Monday night launch, SpaceX to become worldâ€™s largest satellite operator
Becoming a satellite operator has not been without its challenges.