SpaceX company launched a Falcon 9 rocket on a mission to carry the first batch of five dozen small satellites into low-Earth orbit for new Starlink internet service.

SpaceX Starlink

  • Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by American company SpaceX to provide satellite Internet access.
  • The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites, working in combination with ground transceivers.

Falcon 9

  • It is a partially reusable two-stage-to-orbit medium lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX in the United States.
  • It is the first orbital class rocket capable of reflight. 
  • SpaceX believes rocket reusability is the key breakthrough needed to reduce the cost of access to space and enable people to live on other planets.

Significance of space-based Internet services

  • Currently, about 4 billion people, more than half the world’s population, do not have access to reliable Internet networks. 
  • And that is because the traditional ways to deliver the Internet fibre-optic cables or wireless networks cannot take it everywhere on Earth. 
  • In many remote areas, or places with difficult terrain, it is not feasible or viable to set up cables or mobile towers. Signals from satellites in space can overcome this obstacle easily.
  • Placing of satellites in LEO instead of geostationary orbit also has a major advantage: As the longer the distance in geostationary orbits has a time lag, or latency.