Originally scheduled for May 17th, then postponed 24 hours because of Tropical Storm Arthur, SpaceX now says it is holding off the launch of another batch of Starlink satellites until after May 27th.
May 27th sees SpaceX launch its important Demo-2 commercial crew mission for NASA. The launch, when it happens, will be the seventh 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 three 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 four powerful phased-array antennas to enable a huge throughput of data at what Musk says will be lower cost to the consumer.