SpaceX sends into orbit 60 new internet satellites from Starlink but failed to stick the landing
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a new batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit late Monday (Feb. 15), but failed to stick its landing on a floating platform at sea.
Starlink is a global satellite-based data network powered by small, low-Earth orbit satellites. Historically, broadband satellites have been large, expensive spacecraft positioned much further out from Earth in a fixed orbit, providing service to a single coverage area.
Tonight’s launch was the first of two planned Starlink liftoffs within a week; another 60 satellites are scheduled to take flight early as Wednesday (Feb. 17) on a different Falcon 9. The quick succession is due to the fact that SpaceX recently had to shuffle around its planned Starlink missions as both weather and hardware-related issues presented a bit of a challenge.
Eventually, SpaceX intends to provide coverage globally from Starlink, with an emphasis on offering service to areas. where coverage has been weak due to ground infrastructure challenges in past.
However, for now, coverage is minimal, while SpaceX has recently extended its closed beta to an open one, with everyone able to sign up after an address search on the Starlink website and place an order, including a deposit for the entire sum to be paid until the hardware package is delivered.