A SpaceX rocket should launch on May 17th with an extra 60 Starlink satellites on board from Cape Canaveral.
The launch, scheduled for 4am Florida time on Sunday morning and subject to the usual weather constraints, will be the 7th batch of satellites to be launched on SpaceX’s highly reusable Falcon 9 rockets.
The last Starlink launch was on April 23rd and was the 84th flight for the Falcon 9 family.
This new batch will bring a start-date for Musk’s ‘beta’ testing of the system to begin. He has already promised a start within about 3 months for the “northern latitudes” of Alaska and Canada, and the northerly US states this year.
Starlink says it will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable. Starlink additionally says it will be rapidly expanding services “to near global coverage of the populated world by 2021”.
Each satellite weighs about 260 kgs and carries 4 powerful phased-array antennas to enable a huge throughput of data at what Musk says will be lower cost to the consumer.