A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the company's Crew Dragon capsule for the Demo-1 mission.
SpaceX sent a packed rocket of 60 satellites to the room on Thursday morning, in a central mission to build its own high-speed internet network.
The launch was "the heaviest payload a Falcon 9 [rocket] has ever launched, or Falcon Heavy, for that matter," said Spaceon CEO Elon Musk to reporters for the mission. All in all, the rocket lifted more than 37,000 pounds of mass, he said.
Called "Starlink", the satellites represent the company's ambitious plan to build an interconnected satellite network to illuminate high-speed internet anywhere on the planet. That's how Musk believes SpaceX can generate enough revenue to realize its even more ambitious goal of sending astronauts to Mars, and to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet.
Starlink's "is one of the most difficult project issues I have ever seen," Musk said.
The Falcon 9 rocket was launched from the company's pillow in Cape Canaveral, Florida. About an hour after lifting, SpaceX deployed the 60 Starlink satellites in a "very low Earth's orbit" of 440 kilometers above the surface.
The Full Starlink network would consist of 11,943 satellites flying near the planet, closer to the International Space Station.
Musk said SpaceX will need around 720 satellites orbit to get "moderate" coverage around the world. Starlink is likely to demand billions of dollars to develop fully, but Musk said SpaceX has the funding needed to start operations.
"At this point, it seems that we have sufficient capital to reach an operational level," Musk said.
SpaceX is one of several companies, including Jeff Bezos & # 39; Amazon, which builds these so-called "constellations" of interconnected internet satellites.
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