Elon Musk's SpaceX To Launch 60 Satellites Into Orbit Tonight
Elon Musk's SpaceX is set to launch 60 satellites into orbit today (3 June). SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 rocket to launch the satellites, the same type of rocket which carried astronauts to the International Space Station on Saturday (30 May). You can see one landing below:
The ambitious move comes as part of the tech giant's Starlink mission, with the satellites to set off from onboard a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral tonight.
NASA's Kennedy Space Centre said: "SpaceX is scheduled to launch the 8th mission of the constellation of networked satellites known as Starlink.
"The goal of Starlink is to create a network that will help provide internet services to those who are not yet connected, and to provide reliable and affordable internet across the globe."
The Falcon 9 will carry the Starlink satellites into orbit before attempting to return to Earth, landing in the sea.
If successful, this will be the eighth group of Starlink satellites that Musk has managed to launch, taking the total to around 500.
The idea is that the satellites will be able to establish low-cost internet in some of the most remote parts of Earth.
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SpaceX explains on its website: "With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet, and a global network unbounded by ground infrastructure limitations, Starlink will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable."
The launch is scheduled for 8.55pm EDT on 3 June (1.55am BST on 4 June).
This comes after Musk's SpaceX rocket managed to dock at the International Space Station (ISS).
The launch over the weekend (30 June) marked the first time US astronauts have been sent into orbit from US soil since the Space Shuttle was retired nine years ago. It was also the first time NASA astronauts had been sent into space on a rocket built by a private company.
Prior to docking, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken practised some manual flying when they got within a couple of hundred metres from the ISS. The Crew Dragon craft is capable of docking automatically, but this is a test flight, and NASA wants to ensure that astronauts can successfully dock if there's ever a computer malfunction.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he was 'overcome with emotion' watching his rocket successfully launch after many years of hard work.
The billionaire said: "I'm really quite overcome with emotion on this day. It's kind of hard to talk, frankly. I've spent 18 years working toward this goal, so it's hard to believe that it's happened.
"It is a little hard to process. I think at this point I haven't sorted out my emotions.
"This is hopefully the first step on a journey towards civilisation on Mars, of life becoming multi-planetary, a base on the moon and expanding beyond Earth."
Featured Image Credit: PA