SpaceX is still riding high on a wave of public hype from its Falcon Heavy launch, but even as Starman sails through space the company is wasting no time in proceeding with its long list of missions. The company is prepared to launch the first of over 10,000 internet satellites today, after scrubbing its first launch attempt on February 21st due to high altitude wind shear. That was a bit of a disappointment, but SpaceX is giving it another go today, and the launch window opens at 9:17am EST this morning.
The mission will deploy a pair of SpaceX’s high-tech internet satellites into orbit. It’s the first step in an incredibly ambitious plan by the company to blanket the Earth in high-speed wireless connectivity. SpaceX calls the initiative “Starlink,” and it will require nearly 12,000 satellites to be successfully launch before all is said and done.
Musk tweeted ahead of the first launch attempt that the idea behind Starlink is to “serve [the] least served,” and its overarching goal is to provide stable internet connections to areas where broadband hasn’t penetrated or for those who simply can’t afford it. Ultimately, a SpaceX-run internet service could help raise even more money for its future space endeavors, including missions to Mars and possibly beyond.
Today’s launch is taking place from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. After the Falcon 9 rocket takes off, roughly 11 minutes will pass before the satellites are deployed. Breaking from its usual routine, SpaceX will not be recovering the Falcon 9 being used in this particular launch.