Launched with the Space X Falcon 9 the first group of 60 satellites of the Starlink constellation, which will include almost 12,000 to bring internet connections everywhere.

The launch took place from the Cape Canaveral base in Florida, after two postponements last week due to strong winds. Each satellite weighs 227 kilograms and for the Falcon 9 it was the heaviest load I have ever carried in orbit, said representatives of the company of Elon Musk.

After departure, the first stage of the reusable rocket landed as expected on the floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. Before the first launch attempt, Musk had tweeted an image of the satellites in the rocket: they looked like a giant deck of cards, filling almost every inch of the payload space. Even when they were released, the satellites were scattered like playing cards on a table: instead of using spring mechanisms to release them, SpaceX engineers chose to use the inertia inherent in satellites. After the release, the satellites operated the engines to reach the operating orbit at 550 kilometers high.

In a press conference held before the launch, Musk said that these 60 satellites are just the beginning; six more launches of 60 satellites are needed at a time before Starlink can begin to provide initial internet coverage and 12 more launches for moderate coverage. “This system will not only provide Internet access to areas that do not have it, but will provide competitive Internet services to areas that already have these services,” said Musk.

SpaceX and also other companies (including TeleSat and Amazon) aim to provide reliable and inexpensive broadband Internet services that can connect the world, thanks to a network of small satellites in low Earth orbit, which are much closer to the Earth compared to the satellites that are dedicated to the Internet today. The Space X project plans to deploy nearly 12,000 satellites in three orbital segments by mid-2020: initially placing around 1,600 satellites at 550 kilometers, then 2,800 at 1,150 kilometers and finally 7,500 satellites at 340 kilometers.