SpaceX launches broadband pathfinders

Feb 23, 2018

SpaceX launched again on Thursday – this time to put a Spanish radar satellite above the Earth.

But there was a lot of interest also in the mission’s secondary payloads – a couple of spacecraft the Californian rocket company will use to trial the delivery of broadband from orbit.

SpaceX has big plans in this area.

By sometime in the mid-2020s, it hopes to be operating more than 4,000 such satellites, linking every corner of Earth to the internet.

Wednesday’s flight was the first for SpaceX since the dramatic debut on 6 February of its Falcon Heavy – the world’s most powerful launcher.

This time, it was the turn of the smaller workhorse, the Falcon-9.

It lifted clear of the Vandenberg Air Force Base on the US Pacific west coast at exactly 06:17 (14:17 GMT).


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