8 Nov 2019
SpaceX is scheduled to launch its second batch of Starlink internet satellites next week, advancing its plan to introduce broadband access services in the US via the high-speed low-Earth-orbit constellation by around mid-2020. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a payload of 60 Starlink satellites has been given a launch window beginning 11 November, NasaSpaceflight.com reported. The first 60 Starlink satellites entered orbit in May and have been undergoing testing. SpaceX says that it needs to launch at least six satellite batches to provide a full internet service covering the US, while around 24 launches would give it global coverage. SpaceX has secured licensing from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for launching up to 12,000 Starlink satellites and has submitted a request to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for radio frequencies to communicate with additional (anything up to 30,000) orbiters. Starlink’s website says it will provide fast, reliable internet to populations with little or no connectivity, including those in rural communities and places where existing services are too expensive or unreliable. The constellation will also provide services to the US government.