SpaceX is gearing up to launch more Starlink satellites with its eye on Monday to put 60 additional satellites into orbit. The target launch date is February 1, which does represent a delay with the mission initially planned to launch Sunday morning. SpaceX is working hard to put more Starlink satellites into orbit to support its Internet service.
The liftoff on Monday is scheduled for 6:41 AM from Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A. The mission will see 60 additional satellites added to the network following the ten satellites that were launched on January 24. The ten satellites that SpaceX put into orbit earlier this month all went into a unique orbit, allowing them to provide Internet coverage to Alaska.
That orbit did require special permission from the FCC for deployment. SpaceX did conduct a test fire of the Falcon 9 rocket that will deliver the satellites into orbit on Monday morning, assuming all goes well. A static fire test is required before any launch. SpaceX’s Starlink Internet service has the potential to radically alter Internet access for millions of people in the US and abroad.
Many rural communities are vastly underserved when it comes to broadband access paying high costs for slow speeds. Starlink Internet service has already been tested in some parts of the US, and reviewers show that it easily achieves speeds of 100 Mbps or more with ping times sufficient for gaming and anything else you might want to do.
It’s unclear at this time when SpaceX might have enough satellites in orbit to offer seamless coverage of the United States. Current beta testers for the service are paying around $500 for equipment and $100 per month for ongoing access.