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Elon Musk tweets using internet from SpaceX Starlink satellite system

(Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)

Elon Musk went offline for a few days, but when he came back, he said he tweeted using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite system.

The company launched 60 of the Starlink satellites into space on board a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last May.

Musk then followed up with a tweet that was a little more subdued than Dr. Frankenstein’s reaction after bringing his monster to life simply writing, “Whoa, it worked!!”

The 60 Starlink satellites already in space is just a tiny part of the company’s plans for a global blanket of small satellites that could provide high-speed Internet to even the most remote locations. The Federal Communications Commission already approved a potential 12,000 more satellites and just this past week, SpaceX filed paperwork with the International Telecommunication Union for an additional 30,000, according to an article on Space News.

The Starlink constellation places the satellites in low-Earth orbit ranging from 200 to 360 miles altitude. They would work with small ground-based receivers to provide connectivity.

The plan is for the majority of these launches to be from Cape Canaveral. Musk had previously said he wanted six more launches in 2019, but none have yet to follow the May launch. He said at least 400 satellites would need to be in place in order to provide decent connectivity over the U.S. and another 400 for moderate global connectivity.

The endeavor launched by SpaceX in 2015 was an effort to raise funds for its other programs such as Starship and its plans to expand Earth’s footprint to other celestial bodies including Mars.

The potential for 42,000 more satellites around Earth would be a huge jump from the current satellite population around the planet.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs issued a report in April that said since 1957 when Sputnik first launched into space, there have been around 8,500 space vehicles sent into space with about 5,000 currently orbiting Earth.


© 2019 The Orlando Sentinel