SpaceX Successfully Launched the Sixty Starlink Satellites

SpaceX is scheduled to launch launched the sixty Starlink satellites in 2.5 hours at 10:30 EDT – 7:30 PDT time.

The launch is successful and they landed the first stage. The second burn will start in about six minutes to get to the right orbit.

This will be huge if the production Starlink satellites work as planned. If they are successful then SpaceX will be able to use 12 launches to put up a system of about 700+ satellites to cover the USA, Asia and Europe for low latency financial trading. This would happen fairly early in 2020. This will provide many billions of dollars in annual revenue to SpaceX.

Just connecting New York and Chicago with a microwave connection to shave 3 milliseconds is worth $100 million per year.

SOURCES- SpaceX, Twitter

50 thoughts on “SpaceX Successfully Launched the Sixty Starlink Satellites”

  1. Yep. 3D movies, however, seem to have a fairly steady following at the theaters. I know I enjoy them. At home? That’s a different matter.

  2. If you want natural light, you can send it in through portholes, and then diffuse it out to the interior. The portholes would have safety hatches that would shut automatically if there is a pressure drop. In any case, windows need to block UV light, which is 100x as intense in space as at sea level

    An exception is the science window in the Destiny module on the Space Station. It’s fused quartz and lets all the wavelengths through, for science, but there’s an equipment rack in front of the window to hold whatever equipment is wanted, and it has covers to protect the astronauts from sunburns.

  3. OMG yes I so agree.

    “Lets make one third of our floor glass so we can let light in and haze the noobs by making them walk across the window”

    L. E. Fin D’s. Nobody goes in to space to grow crops using natural sunlight.

  4. The airline market alone is highly lucrative.

    Becoming the first ISP in the much of the third world is like buying TSLA stock when it was $14 and Musk was clean.

  5. “Depends on how much they’re paying to bribe regulators, now, doesn’t it?”

    Spectrum has been auctioned, satellites launched. To quite Agent Smith “It is inevitable”.

  6. I’ll never understand why a larger payload fairing wasn’t part of the Falcon Heavy project.

    $ to develop, as you surmise later on it is all about BFS/BFR/full reuse. Near as I can tell F9H is all about EELV contracts and large payloads to GEO.

  7. Supposedly this fairing was to be a reused one from the last Falcon Heavy launch. I haven’t seen confirmation that this time they flew a used fairing. They did have recovery boats out in the ocean.

  8. You don’t need many near-polar satellites because not many people live near the poles. One of the later rings will have a few polar sats, which is all they need, and can be launched from Vandenberg. They will lose some payload on a polar launch, but they’ll only need to do it one or two times.

  9. Those giant windows you see in space colony illustrations are disasters waiting to happen. I’m sure there will be viewing lounges with windows, and the wrap-around terrain will make for interesting views (I can see my house from here!).

    But with giant swaths of windows, one unexpected space rock, or an out of control ship trying to dock, and everybody dies.

  10. There may not be an internet “connection” to your home. There may be such a dense mesh network, at least in urban areas, that internet access just sort of diffuses everywhere.
    As far as the limitations you mention, I predict there will be industrialization long before we run out of terrestrial heat sinks.

    The demographic move is towards large cities, and on average people spend less, and less time outside. Wouldn’t O’Neil colonies be the logical conclusion to this trend? Once lunar, and asteroidial materials are mined in bulk, building an O’Neil colony would be cheaper than a city on earth. Room to build is free, energy is cheap, and you can’t beat the view!

  11. Hell, I’m so old, I can remember why it’s called “core” memory! It was those tiny little ferrite cores strung on wires. I can still remember the grinding sound they made while being written to.

  12. I’ll never understand why a larger payload fairing wasn’t part of the Falcon Heavy project. Since 60 sats fill the only fairing available, the heavy can’t launch any more sats, than the 9.
    The heavy could launch to a higher orbit, with higher inclination to the equator. If the plan is still to launch a constellation of higher orbit “router” more capable, and massive sats, linked to lower orbit sats via laser, the heavy might be useful. Still, the lack of a larger fairing bugs me. I guess it’s been all about BFR for years.

  13. I don’t think it’s that hard to predict. Internet speed will eventually plateau and so will tv resolution because you just don’t need so much information being delivered to your home. Your eyes and brain can’t use 1,000 gigabits, even if it is cheap it’ll be unnecessary. There is some information saturation median we don’t need more and more. Same with electronic computing you shouldn’t have expected a central processor to go unlimited speed, even if it were a molecular cpu, the information needs to have a purpose, a reason for being, and yottaflops per cubic micron is pointless as the supporting infrastructure to utilize something like that (a display for instance) would be huge, better to look at distributed computing and more importantly differentiating the functions of information processor hardware, applying the nature and structure is information itself to the problem. Do we need to know and record what happens every microsecond of millions of acres of wilderness? No.

    There is also a very real limit to things like energy production, storage density, power density and related measures that will steer the course of our civilization. Energy capture from the sun seems to me an absolute essential purpose and how we use it, to beam outbound transportation vessels into space.

    its just short term cultural changes that I have a hard time anticipating, like a war, but I’ve seen how the absolute technological factors are always present and seem to guarantee a certain outcome.

  14. I will be one of the first customers for sure.  ISP overcharges me like there is no tomorrow for my business connection.

  15. The current telco landscape works well for me, lets hope things generally stay the same.

    All expenses from my first world telco needs are covered by the dividends from my telco shares. I have most recurring expenses of the necessities of a modern life backed by dividends from the same companies i pay or from those of the same sector.

  16. I don’t think BFR’s schedule is being much sacrificed to BFS anyhow – they have to get Raptors built and tested. The Starship is perhaps a faster way to do that. No point throwing away 31 Raptors at a time when there’s a fair chance your test flights may crash or blowup. Once they’re building plenty of Raptors, I would expect BFR to come along quickly.

    If BFR is ready in time it may be able to launch some stuff going to the moon, if SpaceX will focus on getting Starship to fly even if it may not be expected to make it back to Earth. Every commercial launch would be an opportunity to test and iteratively improve Starship re-use.

  17. Lets go with modern times and the lowered expectations of mobile users.

    “Unlimited” download avg:
    VZ 53.3 Mbps
    ATT 37.1

  18. Along the lines of tech being hard to predict, it doesn’t help that there have been plenty of technologies being hailed as the next big future thing, only to flop hard in practice. 3D televisions, are good, fairly recent example.

  19. When I learned programming back in the 70’s, I was assured that I would at least always be guaranteed a decent income due to my keypunch skills.

  20. What is decent bandwidth?

    When I was a kid decent bandwidth was 1200 baud and an open line.

  21. No I think that that their approach is correct.

    1. The most time intensive part of development is Starship, not the booster. The booster is actually pretty straightforward once you have Raptors.
    2. BFR without starship doesn’t compete well with F9H in terms of economics. BFR minus BFS is just a super heavy lift booster for which there are no payloads waiting to be launched. BFR with BFS gives you full reusability which F9 and F9H cannot do. So there is no reason to develop BFR as it can’t do anything that F9H can’t do.
    3. There is no third point.
  22. They certainly have it dialed in.

    I wish it was Super-Heavy they worked on first. Starship is a busy design

  23. Look at it this way – this was 13.6 tons of usable comsat hardware. Telstar 19. which SpaceX launched last year, is only 3 tons usable hardware (plus 4 tons propellant at launch). So you are getting 4.5 times as much hardware per launch. Coupled with mass production of the satellites, this is a drastic cost reduction.

  24. > I also told her the huge “switch” she helped set up for new accounts would soon be junk,

    Which replaced the switchboard operators, who replaced the telegraph key operators, who replaced mail carried on horses. My internet speed will have jumped nearly a thousand-fold in 20 years.

  25. This isn’t targeted at US metropolitan areas, which are reasonably well served by wired internet. It’s more for the rural parts of the country, and undeveloped parts of the world, that don’t have decent broadband.

    Assume 10 million users worldwide, at $60/month, that’s $7.2 billion a year, more than enough to pay for the system.

    The “moderate coverage” level (60 x 12 launches) of 720 satellites would have 12 satellites on average over the US, each supplying 1 terabit of bandwidth. With 10x oversubscription (typical broadband provisioning), they can serve 120K US customers. At the full constellation level they can support 2 million. The other 8 million people come from the rest of the world.

    Oversubscription assumes your average customer will use less than the 1 Gigabit max bandwith. My actual monthly usage amounts to 0.6% of my theoretical max bandwidth, and 5% of my monthly allowance (1 TB). I’m not that heavy a user, but many people aren’t.

  26. How many simultaneous users at decent bandwidth will their final network support, thousands or millions?

  27. Heh. Technology marches on, doesn’t it? My dad was a radar/radio technician in WW2, had a radio repair shop afterwards. Didn’t get into TV, didn’t think it would last.

    In the ’80s I got into PC repair – kind of figured they’d stay high-end office hardware. Then IBM open-sourced their hardware and software specs, and the entire field was off to the races…

    The future’s a hard thing to forecast. What seems reasonable in 2019 may well be laughed at in 30 years…

  28. Comcast, AT&T, HughesNet, Verizon, Centurylink – pick your poison.

    If the upfront cost isn’t too high, I’m jumping on this when it’s available.

  29. I think the installation of the starlink constellation, and delivery of broadband to anyone who wants to buy, will go much faster than anyone outside SpaceX expects. There is so much money waiting to be made, and SpaceX has so much unused launch capacity.
    The only limiting factor I can see, is how quickly satellites can be manufactured. Once you can spend $300 for a phased array transceiver on the roof, or in your yard, and get broadband for, say half what the ISP charges, there will be a flood of orders. I look forward to the day when I do business with no utilities at all!

  30. Let’s hope starlink, and following systems do to broadband, and cellular providers what ISPs, and cellular did to the traditional telephone companies. Destroy them by offering better service at lower prices.
    It’s hard for those under 35 or so to comprehend how much it cost to make a call from the east, to west coast in the 1980s, and before. I seem to remember it cost me 25 cents per minute, which would be 81 cents in today’s dollars according to, for a call from Raleigh, NC, to my sweetheart in Austin, TX circa 1980. The first minute was more than that. Now, I have a magicjack POTS server, which costs me $35 per year for calls anywhere in the US, or Canada, and can be used anywhere I can get internet connectivity.
    The low price of communication is nice, but seeing the arrogant “monopoly privilege granted by government” phone utilities crushed by their own lack of foresight. I remember telling someone in the 1980s who worked for the local phone company that it would be going away, because it wasn’t adopting new technologies, or offering new services. I told her it should be replacing twisted pair with co-ax, and should provide cable TV, to the area before another company did so. I also told her the huge “switch” she helped set up for new accounts would soon be junk, because all data transmission would go digital. I might as well have been talking to a medieval peasant.

  31. That’s not SpaceX, that’s speculation by outside analysts about lucrative priority contracts for distant financial city pairs. SpaceX has always been saying it will deliver ordinary internet service. The financial data biz wouldn’t interfere with service to ordinary customers too.

  32. If their total bandwidth can only simultaneously support 500k users @500kbps, why would SpaxeX target the mass market and even the low end of that market?

  33. Silicon Valley is different than you and I…

    but in all honesty, *#$# Comcast, so I hope SpaceX smashes them to pieces with Starlink.

    Start shorting wired ISPs imo.

  34. I think that putting 60 satellites into 60 preplanned orbital slots with one launch is itself a new level of space tech that puts spacex further ahead of the competition.
    For a year or two now people have been doing calculations about costs and timing bassed on 10 or 15 sats per launch? Well they need redoing

  35. So wireless competition for cable companies is bad? It sounds like that is what you are saying.

  36. Sometimes I wonder when I read these articles about only being used for financial transactions, if that isn’t a smart ploy to keep the big broadband companies from trying to stop the launches.
    And later they will broaden the market to us peons.

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