Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk-owned SpaceX said on Wednesday it plans to launch another 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from the launch site at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
What Happened: Falcon 9, a partially reusable rocket designed by SpaceX to transport people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond, is targeting a 4:49 p.m. ET to 6:47 p.m. ET window for the launch.
Starlink’s constellation of networked satellites is aimed at beaming down high-speed internet services, especially in remote areas from satellites in orbit to Earth.
The space company run by the billionaire entrepreneur Musk completed 31 various mission launches in 2021 and 26 in 2020.
Musk last year said the service would be expanded to 14 countries and that Starlink is awaiting licenses in several other countries.
Starlink is known to have launched over 1,500 satellites. The company hopes to have 4,425 in orbit by 2024. The Federal Communications Commission has approved 11,943 satellites to be launched by Starlink.
Why It Matters: Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket. The reusability factor brings down costs significantly as it allows the space agency to refly the most expensive parts of the rocket.
SpaceX plans to fly its fully reusable, biggest rocket Starship to orbit in January and eventually aims for Starship to replace its existing rockets — Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon 2 — and be able to carry much more mass into orbit.
Musk last week warned SpaceX employees that the space company faces a "genuine risk of bankruptcy" if its biggest reusable rocket Starship is not able to meet a flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.
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