Here's How to Watch SpaceX's Mega Starlink Internet Satellite Launch

On May 15 SpaceX is launching 60 Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

On May 15 SpaceX is launching 60 Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

At stake is the chance to be one of the world's largest Internet providers by building the architecture in space, giving WiFi access to billions of people without it. It's about to take a big step toward making that a reality.

Live updates of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network. The Falcon 9 mission will carry 60 Starlink satellites.

In April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cleared SpaceX's revised plan to fly over 1,500 Starlink internet satellites at a lower orbit.

With every launch, SpaceX will add about a terabit of "usable capacity", Musk said, and two to three terabits overall. It could even set SpaceX up to beat out competitors like Amazon and SoftBank-backed OneWeb, which each want to form internet constellations of their own.

The project is still in its early days.

In a call with reporters, Musk cautioned that "there is a lot of new technology here, and so it's possible that some of these satellites may not work".

Last year, SpaceX launched a pair of prototype satellites to test the service.

On Twitter, Musk recently wrote that the company would need to put up six more batches of 60 satellites for "minor" coverage for what it calls its Starlink program, and an additional 12 batches for "moderate" coverage.

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SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said May 7 that the company plans three to seven Starlink launches this year. The focus is on boosting Internet access to rural areas first.

Space debris can be detrimental to space travel and as Earth's low orbit continues to become more congested, experts including those at NASA have warned of its perils.

Future plans are for almost 12,000 satellites to go into low-Earth orbit, which will provide downlink data from space to internet users.

That threat is not just down to SpaceX or any of the other would-be operators of satellites in space. Others with similar ambitions include Amazon.com Inc.'s Bezos, who runs rival rocket company Blue Origin LLC; Canada's Telesat, and Virginia-based OneWeb Satellites, which has backing from SoftBank Group Corp.

In a statement, Amazon said that its program, known as Project Kuiper, is created to bring broadband to "unserved and underserved communities around the world".

The launch is now scheduled for 11 p.m. In any case, that approval is contingent on SpaceX launching at least half of the 4,409 satellites in the next six years.

SpaceX first filed for permits for the new constellation of satellites in 2016.

She expects the company will reach a tipping point at which deploying new satellites will no longer be worth it. For example, the company won't get much benefit out of providing full coverage over the oceans.

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