SpaceX to Launch
May 04, 2017
Elon Musk’s SpaceX says it will begin launching Internet-providing
satellites in 2019.
The move was announced Wednesday by SpaceX vice president of satellite
and government affairs, Patricia Cooper, in testimony before the Senate
Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
She said the company eventually plans to field 4,425 small satellites
into low Earth orbit by 2024 using the company’s partially reusable
Falcon 9 rockets.
"SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket,
leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage
reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle," Cooper said, adding the
company will field two prototype satellites by the end of 2017 and in
access via satellites can be slow, but Cooper said technological
advances will make SpaceX able to offer speeds comparable to terrestrial
The company says Internet speed in the U.S. lags behind other developed
countries. Furthermore, rural areas are not served by standard broadband
providers. The company’s “constellation” of satellites could deliver
high speeds without cables.
Cooper added that space-based Internet avoids some of the pitfalls for
"In other words, the common challenges associated with sitting, digging
trenches, laying fiber and dealing with property rights are materially
alleviated through a space-based broadband network," Cooper said.