SpaceX has been launching its Starlink satellites that are designed to give global broadband coverage. The company has launched several strings of satellites so far, and the biggest complaint yet is that the satellites are brighter than anyone expected. SpaceX has been trialing a special low reflective coating on the satellites to see if that helps.
Today’s launch will put 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit, and those wanting to see how it goes can watch live via SpaceX here. The launch is happening at space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is scheduled for no earlier than 9:49 a.m EST.
The live broadcast mentioned before will kick off 15 minutes before the launch is set to take place. There is a high likelihood that the launch will be scrubbed. The USAF Weather Squadron has noted that the launch area has thick clouds and “disturbed weather” as major concerns for the day.
The backup launch for the Starlink-3 mission will be tomorrow, Tuesday, January 28, at 9:28 a.m. EST. That launch window has an 80% chance of good weather. SpaceX plans to launch many more satellites into orbit to get the global broadband coverage it wants. To access the internet connectivity, users would need a terminal about the size of a laptop.
SpaceX is planning to launch another batch of 60 Starlink satellites by the end of January. Elon Musk has said that SpaceX needs at least 400 satellites in orbit to offer “minor” broadband coverage and at least 800 for “moderate” coverage. SpaceX believes it needs about six more launches before access is offered in the U.S. and parts of Canada. It expects to begin offering some coverage this year. Pricing is still a mystery.
Update: SpaceX has confirmed it’s pushing today’s launch to Tuesday, due to inclement weather.