SpaceX is on a collision course with the world’s biggest telecom and satellite manufacturing companies.
SpaceX is on a collision course with the world’s biggest telecom and satellite manufacturing companies, as it steps up development of its “Starlink” network of satellites.
The company will soon test its first satellites, Microsat 2a and 2b, which are headed for orbit aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, according to documents filed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These satellites will take the next step into space, which is critical for the network’s progress.
On Saturday, SpaceX scrapped plans to launch on Sunday, in the interest of performing “final checks’, and rescheduled for February 21st. However, the company’s big ambitions remain on track.
Starlink – a name SpaceX filed to trademark last year – is an ambition unmatched by any current satellite network. The largest existing constellation is built by Iridium, with the company halfway through launching its new 75 Iridium Next satellites to space, set to finish deployment in the next year.
The stakes are high, with a space race for a new era viewed as a linchpin to help make life better here on earth. According to the FCC there are about 14 million rural Americans, as well as 1.2 million Americans on tribal lands, who do not have access to even the slowest mobile broadband services.