SpaceX wants to beam cheap broadband internet all over the planet. It’s gearing up for the first crucial step toward making that a reality.
Elon Musk’s rocket company will try to deliver a batch of 60 satellites into low-Earth orbit, the first for a megaconstellation of satellites that SpaceX is calling Starlink. The launch could happen sometime next week.
It was scheduled to take off Wednesday night, but rough winds in the upper atmosphere caused a one-day delay. And SpaceX said in a Thursday tweet that it would wait another week so the company can “update satellite software and triple-check everything again.”
The upcoming mission is a small part of what SpaceX ultimately wants to be a much grander project: a group of potentially thousands of satellites swirling over Earth that the company says could eventually make available low-cost internet for a significant portion of the world’s population that isn’t yet online.
If SpaceX is successful Thursday, the launch would mark the largest test yet for any company attempting such a project. 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.