Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to start launching satellites into orbit in 2019 to provide high-speed internet to Earth.
In November, the company outlined plans to put 4,425 satellites into space in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing. But the document gave little detail on the timeline.
However on Wednesday, Patricia Cooper, SpaceX’s vice president of satellite government affairs, said later this year, the company will start testing the satellites themselves, launch one prototype before the end of the year and another during the “early months” of 2018. Following that, SpaceX will begin its satellite launch campaign in 2019.
“The remaining satellites in the constellation will be launched in phases through 2024,” Cooper said before the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology on Wednesday.
Musk’s space exploration firm has developed technology that allows rockets to take off, deposit their payload into space, and then land back on earth to be reused. In March for the first time, SpaceX sent one of their reused Falcon 9 rockets back into space to send a communications satellite into orbit.
This technology cuts costs, something Cooper referred to.
“SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle,” the executive said.
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SOURCE: CNBC, Arjun Kharpal