The hub-bub Elon Musk and SpaceX caused last week with a rocket, a car and a David Bowie soundtrack has died down somewhat so naturally that means its time for more news about the private space exploration company.
On Sunday SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket skyward carrying an Earth-observation satellite called Paz for Spain and two more satellites for SpaceX.
Those satellites are Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b according to The Verge and those two satellites are rather important because they may be the first in Elon Musk’s vision to beam internet to Earth from space.
To be more specific – Musk’s vision involves some 12 000 satellites circling the planet beaming high-speed internet to receivers on Earth.
Some 4 425 satellites will orbit the planet at a height of roughly 1 126km and another 7 518 satellites will orbit the Earth from a distance of 321km.
The idea is to create a network of satellites that insure connectivity at all times, but getting the logistics hammered out may be tricky. For one SpaceX needs access to the spectrum the satellites would use to beam internet from space.
Apparently the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai has shown support for this initiative but let’s remember that this would be a global project and the enthusiasm from one nation is not enthusiasm from all nations.
Here in South Africa mobile network operators have been asking authorities for greater access to spectrum only for negotiations to be hampered by red tape and protocols.
Looking beyond the red tape we’re excited to witness another SpaceX launch.
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying Paz and the two Microsat payloads will launch from the Vandenberg Airforce Base in California at 9:17AM EST on Sunday, which is 16:17 here in Africa.