According to foreign media reports, the latest news, SpaceX company is preparing to launch the first batch of experimental satellites used in the global Internet, the earliest possible launch this week. At this point, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had shown the project in Seattle for three years.
Prototype satellites, codenamed Microsat 2a and 2b, are said to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA, through the secondary payload of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and are expected to launch this Saturday. Allegedly, the main payload is a 3,000-pound Spanish radar observing satellite, code-named "Paz".
A few days earlier, SpaceX conducted a static ignition test on Falcon 9 rocket, making the most of the first booster of the previous flight. The test included a rocket engine that quickly ignited the booster as a rehearsal for Saturday's launch.
Paz satellites will be launched to polar orbits 319 miles away, but SpaceX satellites may eventually be launched into higher altitudes to test the effects of Ku-band wireless communications systems connecting to many ground stations.
According to the sources, SpaceX has handed over the main work of the satellite network to a research and development team headquartered in Redmond, Washington.
According to SpaceX's filing with the FCC, multiple ground stations will be located at SpaceX's facilities in Redmond and Brewster, Washington, and its headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
In addition, some ground stations are located within SpaceX's facilities in McGregor, Texas, and Brownsville. Another ground station is located in Tesla's factory in Fremont, California.
SpaceX claims the company will also test the satellite communications system using receiving terminals built into the mobile car. In line with its previous business plan, SpaceX plans to launch thousands of communications satellites to orbit and provide limited services starting in 2020. This satellite group, officially named Starlink, will eventually provide low-cost Internet connectivity worldwide.
Currently, SpaceX has been denied more details about Starlink. Outside observers can only gather fragmented information from government-requested documents or collect internal information through internal forums such as NASASpaceflight.com and Reddit r / SpaceX.
Of course, it is no secret now, but it is because as early as 2016, Patricia Cooper, SpaceX's vice president for satellite communications with the government, The Communications Commission's paper explained that the process of building a satellite system would be strictly protected and may take several years to finalize, during which the operator confidentially secrets the issue for competitive reasons.
SpaceX's main competitor is OneWeb. Currently, OneWeb has partnered with Airbus and other key players to bring their own Internet satellite to an early date. Today, many competitors have emerged in this area, including Boeing, SES O3b, ViaSat, Telesat and LeoSat.
OneWeb is expected to launch the first test satellite by the end of this year and will put limited operations next year in order to meet the terms of the company's licensing agreement with the International Telecommunication Union. OneWeb's launch partners include Blue Origin, Amazon's chief executive Jeff Bezos, Victoria Whitby Richard Branson, Virgin Orbit and Arianespace in Europe.
Obtaining the mandate of the International Telecommunication Union is a tremendous advantage for OneWeb, but SpaceX is now scrambling to catch up quickly with competitors such as R & D and regulation. Musk once said that a profitable satellite operations project will play a very important role in implementing Spaceport's Mars immigration program.