After several delays SpaceX eventualy launched its Falcon 9 rocket to deploy satellites late last night.
The primary payload on yesterday’s launch was the PAZ satellite belonging to Hisdesat in Spain. According to NPR that satellite will orbit Earth 15 times a day capturing highly detailed images of the planet.
While that was the main payload, SpaceX was also using the mission to deploy its own satellites. These are the first in the space exploration firm’s dream of using an army of satellites to beam high-speed internet to Earth from space.
The satellites are called Tintin A and B and, after deployment, SpaceX founder and chief executive officer Elon Musk tweeted that the heavenly bodies were communicating with Earth. He even included a short video you can check out below.
First two Starlink demo satellites, called Tintin A & B, deployed and communicating to Earth stations pic.twitter.com/TfI53wHEtz
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018
The two satellites will attempt to beam the message “Hello world” later today when they pass over Los Angeles. Our fingers are crossed that this works.
While the launch and deployment of PAZ and Tintin were successful, SpaceX didn’t quite catch the nose cone of the Falcon 9 as it fell back to Earth.
A giant catching mit in the form of a boat with a net attempted to catch half of the nose cone as it fell to Earth, but missed by a few hundred metres. For those that are wondering this boat has a name just like SpaceX’s sea landing platforms – it’s Mr. Stevens.
You can rewatch the Falcon 9 launch in the video below.