SpaceX Monday launched its third group of 60 mini-satellites into orbit, a part of its projects to build a giant constellation of thousands of spacecraft that can form a world broadband internet system.
The group of 60 satellites separated from a Falcon 9 rocket above the ocean between Australia and Antarctica an hour after its takeoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 9:19 pm.
The satellite deployment, which was filmed live by a camera onboard the rocket, brings the full number of satellites, which can be part of the US firm’s Starlink network to under 180.
However, that figure may one day total 42,000, resulting in way more crowded skies, which has raised issues among astronomers that they might one day threaten our view of the cosmos.
There are currently about 2,100 active satellites orbiting the Earth, according to the Satellite Industry Association (SIA).
The launch was broadcast live by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space venture after Tesla.
SpaceX’s objective is to manage a huge share of the future internet market from space.
Several rivals have the same ambition, together with London-based startup OneWeb and titan US retailer Amazon, whose Project Kuiper is much less advanced.
Musk hopes to control 3 to 5% of the worldwide internet market—a share valued at $30 billion a year, or ten times what SpaceX is earning from its space launches.
Musk also entertains a long-time dream of colonizing Mars.