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Aerospace manufacturer, SpaceX, is about to launch its first test satellite to see whether the idea of global internet can be achieved or not. In 2015, the company proposed a network formed of 4 thousand satellites which could provide internet access to everyone on Earth. On Saturday, the Starlink network will be closer to reality.
SpaceX will launch its first set of Starlink prototypes into space for the company’s global internet network as well as a Spanish radar observation satellite called Paz.
Satellite internet currently exists in the form of satellites that fly at geostationary orbits, over 20 thousand miles above our planet. However, SpaceX’s plan is to put their satellites much closer to each other, at around 750 miles. The company claims that closer satellites would allow for better bandwidth and connections speeds.
If SpaceX manages to put into orbit the Starlink satellites, they would be the world’s first internet satellite network for the entire planet.
SpaceX is not the only company that dreams of a global internet network as Boeing, Samsung, OneWeb and several others, also have plans to form their own satellite networks in the near future. SpaceX still remains at the head of the curve, mainly because of its reusable Falcon 9 rockets, which have proven their reliability last week. SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, just recently launched a Tesla car atop its Falcon Heavy rocket into space.
The two satellites which will be launched this Saturday are Microsat 2a and 2b. Once in orbit, the company will test connections with ground stations in Washington, California, and Texas as well as receivers in mobile vans across the US.
If successful, SpaceX will reportedly launch the first of its satellites later this year with a limited network planned for 2020. The first network would be comprised of approximately 800 satellites that will cover the US.
Image Source: Flickr