Hawthorne-based SpaceX will look to become the world’s largest private satellite operator Monday evening when it launches another array of satellites as part of its planned Starlink worldwide internet service.
The launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida is scheduled for 6:19 p.m. California time. The Falcon 9 rocket will be carrying 60 satellites to add to the growing Starlink array, which is already 120 satellites strong.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket being used in the launch has flown three times previously, as SpaceX continues its efforts to reuse aerospace parts to slash mission costs. The rocket’s first stage flew twice last year and once in September 2018. Following Monday evening’s launch, SpaceX will again attempt to land the rocket back on a barge — dubbed “Of Course I Still Love You” — floating in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX will also attempt to recover part of the rocket’s fairing, or nosecone, using a boat named “Ms. Tree” and outfitted with a large net.
The planned Starlink internet system is expected to require more than a dozen more rocket launches carrying hundreds more satellites. SpaceX has previously estimated that the proposed Starlink array could involve as many as 12,000 satellites in varying orbits to provide global internet coverage.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: