MYSTERY WIRE –– SpaceX launched 60 satellites on Wednesday, the fourth launch of the Starlink program to build a “constellation” that will deliver broadband Internet service. The launch had been delayed since Jan. 20 as SpaceX waited out bad weather.
Watch a replay of the launch:
Starlink service could be available after just a few more launches as SpaceX founder Elon Musk pursues and agressive launch schedule — an average of a launch every two weeks during 2020.
The launch followed suit with earlier SpaceX success: reusing a Falcon 9 rocket on its third mission, and recovering the rocket’s first stage with a smooth touch-down on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
Space.com reports that SpaceX has several Falcon 9 rockets with three or four missions under their belt, but no Falcon has been used five times yet. See Space.com’s report for more information on the satellites’ specifications, as well as astronomers’ feelings on the plan for thousands of satellites. The satellites are sometimes visible before they ascend to their positions above Earth, but with every launch, the sky gets more crowded.
We’ve written on that previously:
Also, don’t miss our look at a likely sideshow to the deployment of the satellites, and their appearance as a “train” in the sky as they ascend to their planned orbits: