SpaceX will launch two satellites this week as part of its effort to create a constellation of satellites for global internet delivery
David Royse | LedeTree
SpaceX has now scheduled a launch for Feb. 21 to send into space two satellites as part of a test of a concept for creating a constellation of satellites aimed at eventual delivery of worldwide internet.
SpaceX said its launch, which had been scheduled for the weekend, was being delayed until Wednesday. The rocket will also carry a Spanish earth-mapping satellite known as Paz.
Team at Vandenberg is taking additional time to perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing. Payload and vehicle remain healthy. Due to mission requirements, now targeting February 21 launch of PAZ.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 17, 2018
Elon Musk’s company is proposing to put thousands of satellites in orbit and use them to beam the internet around the world, promising to connect hundreds of millions of Americans, including many in places currently without broadband, and potentially more far-reaching, billions of people around the globe.
SpaceX is one of four companies with a vision for eliminating the internet gap by creating global satellite-delivered internet. OneWeb, Space Norway and Telesatare also hoping to use satellites to create universal internet coverage of the Earth.
OneWeb Chairman Greg Wyler says half the world has no reliable internet access.
“OneWeb is on a mission to bridge the digital divide by 2027,” Wyler says on the company’s website. When Wyler announced a key infusion of money from several corporate partners just over a year ago, he called it “an exciting day for those who hunger for the information, freedom, and economic participation the web enables, particularly in rural areas, and especially for the two million schools without broadband….
“We can connect every school to the Internet by 2022,” Wyler says.
Here’s Greg Wyler talking about OneWeb’s effort.
SpaceX got a big boost in its plan last week from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who recommended that the agency approve Space-X’s proposal, known as “Constellation” for the ring of satellites it envisions.
“To bridge America’s digital divide, we’ll have to use innovative technologies,” Pai said in a statement. . “SpaceX’s application—along with those of other satellite companies seeking licenses or access to the U.S. market for non-geostationary satellite orbit systems—involves one such innovation.
“Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach,” Pai continued. “And it can offer more competition where terrestrial Internet access is already available.”