SpaceX is aiming for its 100th successful flight in a row TODAY with a Falcon 9 rocket launch that will orbit 60 new Starlink internet satellites
- SpaceX is launching 60 new Starlink satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket
- If everything goes according to plan, this will be SpaceX’s 100th successful flight in a row
- The record dates back to 2015, when the rocket exploded before launch
- The new batch brings the total to 1,737 Starlinks floating in low Earth orbit
SpaceX launched its first rocket in 2010 and has since sent many more into space, but has also lost a few along the way.
The company owned by Elon Musk will today launch a new batch of 60 Starlink satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket and if all goes to plan, it will be the 100th successful flight in a row – a huge milestone for the company.
The record, if completed, dates back to 2015, when a Falcon 9 sustained a catastrophic explosion on the Cape Canaveral launch pad during a routine pre-launch.
Since the event, SpaceX has had a clean slate to send 99 Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy rockets into space.
However, the firm is attempting its 100th successful launch with a rocket that has only flown once, which could make or break its flawless streak.
This particular vehicle took off last November to launch NASA’s Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite that is currently mapping the oceans.
The rocket will take off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 2:59 PM ET.
SpaceX is attempting the 100th successful launch with a rocket that has only flown once (pictured), which could make or break its flawless streak. This particular vehicle was launched last November to launch NASA’s Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite
SpaceX has launched the Falcon 9 rockets 121 times since 2010, 119 of which had full mission success – one was a partial failure and the 2015 was a total loss.
The new milestone does not include the four Starship missiles that exploded.
Today also marks the 28th Starlink mission, which aims to create a mega constellation of internet-radiating satellites.
This batch of 60 devices will take it to 1,737 Starlinks floating in low Earth orbit.
The rocket will take off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 2:59 PM ET. Pictured is the Falcon 9 just prior to its launch last year
Today also marks the 28th Starlink mission, which aims to create a mega constellation of internet-radiating satellites (illustration)
SpaceX recently petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase its initial plans from 1,600 to about 2,800 satellites.
This allows SpaceX to provide better and faster internet to its more than 10,000 current paying customers.
SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell said in a recent interview, “The total addressable market for launch, with a conservative view of commercial human passengers, is probably about $ 6 billion, but the addressable market for global broadband is $ 1 trillion.”
This batch (supply) of 60 devices brings it to 1,737 Starlinks floating in low Earth orbit
“The total addressable market for launch, with a conservative view of commercial human passengers, is probably about $ 6 billion,” she said, “but the addressable global broadband market is $ 1 trillion.”
According to Tesmanian, if SpaceX gets 25 million Starlink subscribers, it would generate about $ 30 billion every year.
This is 10 times more than what the company earns as a launch provider, it added.
A filing with the FCC in February states that the service “reaches and exceeds 100/20 megabits per second (Mbps) for all individual users” and many are seeing a latency “at or below 31 milliseconds.”
However, there are some downsides for users – besides the hefty cost, there are planned outages due to the limited number of satellites and the fact that Starlink is still in early testing.
The Starlink website states: ‘There will also be short periods when there is no connection at all.
“As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our network software, the data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.”