by Samuel Abels
On Thursday, Feb. 22, the company known as SpaceX unveiled the successful launch of two new test satellites. This, of course, is all part of 46-year-old technological innovator and scientist Elon Musk’s plan to introduce high speed internet to billions of people around the globe.
The space company, of which Musk is the owner, wound up sending a satellite into orbit on behalf of the Spanish government aboard a previously commandeered Falcon-class rocket. Next to that, there were also SpaceX’s own smaller models, which through documentation filed to the FCC, have been given the name of Microsats 2a and Microsats 2b. These dual satellites are the first to actually be constructed by SpaceX.
The crafts themselves are set up in order to both collect data and determine if the plans SpaceX holds the capacity to hold a constellation of similar satellites, effectively creating a group that will hold the power of 4,425 Ka/Ku microwave frequency units.
Starlink, the particular name of this rather ambitious project of Musk’s has had its own trademark pursued within the past year. Currently, the largest constellation of satellites in existence originates from Iridium, and Iridium is nearly 50 percent of the way through launching a constellation set that will consist of up to 75 satellites, and are set to complete deployment within the scope of the coming year.
SpaceX is hoping to get the entirety of this project up and running by the same time frame. These satellites will function like the current two sent up by Musk and company to collect data: they will be in low Earth orbit. The system in question is set to become fully operational upon the deployment of a quantity of at least 800 satellites, according to documents by the Federal Communications Commission.
The two test satellites shall occupy an area 700 miles above our planet, which is exactly where the full-on project of Starlink will reside in the future.
Musk posted of these accomplishments on his social media platforms, including a post on his Instagram regarding a netted,high speed boat by the name of “Mr. Steven” to capture the nose cone of the rocket carrying these micro-satellites. Musk later tweeted out that they had missed catching it by at least a “few hundred meters,” and that the nose cone had wound up slowing down enough to make an “intact” landing in the Pacific Ocean.
Musk says that if successful, this project will wind up providing much-needed service to the “least served” of the globe.
In the end, that’s something we all can strive for. Progress. Sure, upon first glance these seem like grandiose expectations from the mind of Elon, but he has not only the skills, but the mental mapping and the resources to see this through to its end. So, to flip an age old phrase, engraved in our Western currency: “In Musk We Trust.”
Take us to the future, Elon.