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24.05.2019 US & Canada

SpaceX launches first satellites in Starlink internet mission

By RFI
REUTERS/Thom Baur
MAY 24, 2019 US & CANADA

Entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX has launched into orbit the first 60 satellites for the company's new Starlink internet service – which has the potential to provide users all over the planet with cheap broadband.

The satellites were launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida late Thursday on a Falcon-9 rocket. It's the first dedicated mission for Starlink, which ultimately aims to number 12,000 satellites.

Musk has said that about 800 satellites will be needed to provide moderate internet coverage.

The launch had been planned for early May, but was pushed back due to delays from resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Two countdowns for the mission were scrapped because of high winds over the Cape and a decision made to update the satellite software.

SpaceX is one of several private companies that have permission to fly an internet mega-constellation.

The company says it won't know for another day whether the satellites deployed are functioning properly.

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