SpaceX is about broadcast live video of a space scene so strange that Elon Musk struggled to describe it.
The rocket company's plan is to launch Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, tonight between 10:30 am. and midnight ET, and broadcast the event live.
Stacked within the top of the rocket is 60 next-generation satellite – the first on a global internet network called Starlink, which in its final form could boast 12,000 such as satellites. That is almost seven times the number of operational satellites currently orbiting the Earth today.
Each Starlink satellite is almost a size of an office desk and weighs about 500 lbs (227 kilos). On the whole, satellites and key parts of the rocket in the upper stages of their orbital storms will have a weight of more than 1
"This is the biggest payload launched by Falcon 9," Musk said in a call to reporters on Wednesday night. In fact, this is the heaviest payload SpaceX has ever tried to launch, with his behemoth Falcon Strong rocket.
Deploying five dozen spacecraft in orbit simultaneously is no small task, and SpaceX plans to display the process on a live webcast on YouTube, which we have embedded below.
& # 39; This will look different & # 39;
But that mission uses heavy spring-based mechanisms to pop out each satellite, and most of the spacecraft is smaller and lighter than Starlink satellites. (SpaceX also uses a subcontractor to build a satellite-deploying stack for missions.)
To keep weight and complex home missions on Thursday the smallest, Musk said that SpaceX engineers are trying an unusual thing.
"It will be a very slow expansion, where we rotate the [upper] stage," Musk said.
The precise arrangement of Starlink satellites will give each of its own unique inertia as the rocket spins, Musk said. This will cause the spacecraft to float out and away from their stack space at different times and speeds.
"It looks like spreading a deck of cards in a table," Musk says. "It looks a strange kind compared to normal satellite deployment."
He added that the satellites could be handled or mooted to each other during deployment, "but it will be very, slowly, and the satellites are designed to handle it."
Musk said that every Starlink would then boot up and start firing its Hall thruster, or ion engine. The engines will shoot out krypton gas ions slowly but very well fly from 273 miles (440 kilometers) to 342 miles (550 kilometers) above Earth.
From there, SpaceX plans to test its Starlink internet concept by talking to Starlink spacecraft from land stations and routing data from one satellite to another. Later on, every Starlink satellite will be connected to four others via a laser beam, allowing the Starlink network to transfer internet traffic near the vacuum light speed. This speed is almost 50% faster than fiber-optic cables that can send data to the ground, which means Starlink can have a huge speed advantage.
"enough capital" to get Starlink, and also suggested that SpaceX could start earning Starlink before the launch of all 12,000 planned satellites by 2027 (the deadline requiring FCC licenses).
"For the system to be economically viable, it's actually in the order of 1,000 satellites," Musk said. "Which is obviously many satellites, but it's way less than 10,000 or 12,000." The proliferation of overhead satellites also means that Starlink can bring almost subconscious broadband internet to most of the Earth's regions, as well as airplanes, ships, and even cars (perhaps the de- Tesla electricity will start). The musk said many times that he wanted to make access to internet, especially in places with no web service.
Mark Handley, a computer-networking researcher at University College London who studies Starlink, previously told Business Insider that the project could affect the life of "everybody's potential" by bringing high-speed and broadcasting broadband in most parts of the world.
"This is the most exciting new network we've seen for a long time," Handley says.
Watch the first Starlink mission live
Musk said SpaceX will begin deploying the 60 Starlink satellite about an hour after the launch tonight.
You can tune in to the live SpaceX broadcast below which starts around 15 minutes before being lifted, which is currently scheduled for another day between 10:30 am. ET and midnight.