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SpaceX's first internet satellites are set to launch Sunday

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I've been posting here about Elon Musk's plans to launch a constellation all around the earth to provide fast LEO broadband Gigabit Internet and cell services everywhere in the world.

It begins tomorrow. In a few years you may be able to ditch your GEO satellite content and Telecom providers and use the Space X systems.

This does indeed mean that RVrs can use the internet from anywhere and only need a little tiny outside antenna like used for the Sirius LEO music service on pour cars.


" Elon Musk's rocket company has been working on getting satellite broadband off the ground for years. Now the Falcon 9 is set to launch the first test.

On Sunday, a week after launching its huge Falcon Heavy rocket, SpaceX is set to blast off another test of a long-awaited new product.

More than three years ago we learned Elon Musk and his rocket company were working on developing satellites to provide low-cost internet access around the world. The first pair of demonstration satellites for the company's Starlink service will finally be launched into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 on Sunday, according to correspondence between the company and the Federal Communications Commission.

The main payload for the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California will be the Spanish government's Paz satellite, designed to capture imagery of the Earth down to the single-meter scale. But there had been unconfirmed reports for several weeks now from space industry sources like NASASpaceFlight.com that a secondary passenger on the flight would be the Starlink demonstration setup.

SpaceX itself has been relatively mum about the debut of its Starlink satellites, and about the entire program itself. However, a letter from SpaceX to the Federal Communications Commission, posted to the FCC website Monday, makes it pretty clear what will be aboard the Falcon 9 when it launches.

he letter refers to two satellites, called Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, that will be launched as a secondary payload on the Paz mission. The FCC granted SpaceX a license in November to launch this pair of satellites as part of a test mission. In its application, the company describes the test objectives:

"In addition to proving out the development of the satellite bus and related subsystems, the test program for the Microsat-2a and -2b spacecraft will also validate the design of a phased array broadband antenna communications platform."

Putting that all together: SpaceX is testing internet broadband satellites that will be launched along with the Paz satellite.

On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave his endorsement to SpaceX's application to operate two huge constellations of broadband satellites. The company has secured approval for the two test satellites, but the broader application for Musk's larger ISP vision is still awaiting a decision. "

Source article: https://www.cnet.com/news/spacex-falcon-9-internet-satellites-sunday-launch/

And here is another article with more info:


"Elon Musk is about to launch the first of 11,925 proposed SpaceX internet satellites — more than all spacecraft that orbit Earth today

  • SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, plans to launch a Spanish satellite on Saturday with a Falcon 9 rocket.
  • The launch is expected to also deploy two experimental communications satellites.
  • The two satellites may test aspects of Starlink, a project to bathe Earth in high-speed internet access.
  • The Starlink plan calls for nearly 12,000 interlinked satellites — many more than currently orbit Earth — but Musk and SpaceX have been relatively quiet about it.
  • Ajit Pai, chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission, endorsed the plan on Wednesday.

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by the entrepreneur Elon Musk, is keeping quiet about a plan to bathe the Earth in high-speed internet

during a press briefing with Musk about the Falcon Heavy rocket launch last week, Business Insider asked about the project — informally known as Starlink, according to Geekwire — to no avail.

However, secrecy is difficult for SpaceX to maintain, given government oversight, public documents, and the incredible scale of its proposal. In the coming years, the company hopes to launch 4,425 interlinked broadband-internet satellites into orbit some 700 to 800 miles above Earth, plus another 7,500 spacecraft into lower orbits.

Source article:


Maybe he will now make Space X public so I can invest in it with half of my Tesla profits!

You heard it here first!

RV Internet will soon be here!!!!


Edited by RV_

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Same situation as when Tesla came out and it wasn't until two years after the Roadster went on sale that they IPO'd. JUst keep reading about them and I will post here after I invest mine on IPO or just after the pop.

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That is like saying from 2003 to 2008 when can I buy my Tesla? You can get it or something better when it is ready just like The Roadster in 2008 that out sold both years, in advance, with $60k - $100k plus cash down up front. And the advance deposits for the Model S, the Model X, and now ~ a half million deposits for Model 3.

It took more time to nail reusable booster landings. But now good. The PowerWalls are competitive and can be ordered, they built the world's largest battery in South Australia, and their solar roofs are starting to be installed and come online now too.

Their NY solar cell gigafactory got a boost when Trump put a 30% tariff up to keep Chinese cheap cells out and costing the end users more.

It's all that and more.

The Musk difference is you will get it faster than anyone else will. And it will all be built in the USA. Still our only BEV manufacturer in full production of several all electric Battery Electric Vehicles or BEVs that will replace all the Ice Age vehicles in the next ten to 30 years.


Edited by RV_

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Dang! Delayed again. Space X is not admitting the multiple payload involves at least two of the StarLink mini sats to LEO (Low Earth Orbit). Most folks are unaware of why LEO, MEO, and LEO are significant.

6HCjeizl.png "border=0
m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image.

Various Earth orbits to scale; innermost, the red dotted line represents the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS); cyan represents low Earth orbit, yellow represents medium Earth orbit, and where the black background meets the yellow represents geosynchronous orbit. The green dash-dot line represents the orbit of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. You may have to click to enlarge to see the red dotted line of the ISS.

  • Low Earth orbit (LEO): geocentric orbits with altitudes from 100–1,240 miles
  • Medium Earth orbit (MEO): geocentric orbits ranging in altitude from1,240 miles to just below
  • geosynchronous orbit at 22,236 mi Geosynchronous orbit (GSO) and geostationary orbit (GEO) are orbits around Earth matching Earth's rotation period. All geosynchronous and geostationary orbits have an altitude of 22,236 mi. All geostationary orbits are also geosynchronous, but not all geosynchronous orbits are geostationary. A geostationary orbit stays exactly above the equator, whereas a geosynchronous orbit may swing north and south to cover more of the Earth's surface. Both complete one full orbit of Earth per sidereal day (relative to the stars, not the Sun).

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_orbits

So anyone can see there is a large difference in distances between LEO and GEO distances from Earth. Thus the signal round trip is as shortened by each step down from GEO to LEO

The advantage of LEO Is that it is close enough for normal communication by voice, and requires less transmitter power to send the data down from the sat after we connect for voice or data request from the ground to it, which it sends to the groundstation, then the groundstation answers and send it back to the sat, which then relays it back to our sat phone or computer.

As already said all we need to receive the sat LEO signal like Sirius radio, also from LEO, is a tiny antenna. I anticipate Satellite hotspots that let us use our cell phones with the satellites just like Iridium does with Their Iridium GO! you can read about here:https://satellitephonestore.com/catalog/rent/details/iridium-go

But bear in mind the system will be using quite a bit more data than the old fashioned Iridium capabilities in both their groundstations and user gear.

So when is the new launch date to which today's (Sunday 18 Feb 2018) delayed launch was rescheduled?

From Space X website:

"Feb. 21Falcon 9 • Paz

Launch time: 1417 GMT (9:17 a.m. EST; 6:17 a.m. PST)
Launch site: SLC-4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Paz satellite for Hisdesat of Madrid, Spain. Built by Airbus Defense and Space, Paz carries a radar imaging payload to collect views of Earth for government and commercial customers, along with ship tracking and weather sensors. Multiple smaller secondary payloads will also launch on the Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch with a previously-flown first stage. Delayed from Jan. 30, Feb. 10, Feb. 17 and Feb. 18. [Feb. 17]"
Notice they do not specify what the smaller secondary payloads are or how many. One or more of those are likely the SpaceLink test mini sats.
Edited by RV_

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17 hours ago, RV_ said:


That is like saying . . . will replace all the Ice Age vehicles in the next ten to 30 years.

So you're saying no 5G this year, right?

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Beats me. Are they going to use cell phone signal propagation and frequencies?

I am finishing the post above then I'll come back when you tell me where you are getting 5G mixed in with StarLink.

What are you talking about?

Do you have any new information on StarLink or the other supposed competitors with no rocket company of their own with which to launch.

I'll keep posting as info is released or leaked. You will have to wait like all the rest of us Space X fans.

Edited by RV_

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In my OP, third sentence at the start I said this: "In a few years you may be able to ditch your GEO satellite content and Telecom providers and use the Space X systems."

Here's a Business Insider article that is two years old:


Could you post the source for your assertions of 5G to be used by StarLink. When we say a few years for other companies they may never execute. Musk executes, and brilliantly. Oh he may be late or early, over or under budget, or saying he knows such and such will work and he will leave it to others to develop, like Hyperloop, because he is still executing goals he hasn't made public yet.


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I just read the other thread. I didn't read it because I have 200Mbps high speed already from cable and unlimited data with no slowdown paywall to run into.

I guess you were referring to the Geostationary Hughesnet sats that are promising their 5th generation satellites from GEO orbit way up there, which we have already had VSAT systems do since 18 years ago for residential use.

No Space X is launching LEO mini sats which will enable somewhere around Gigabit speeds they say. None of the limitations  imposed by those long distances from Earth.

They have not called them any G.

Cell phones have a 5G they are developing. Again, Space X has not announced any 5G cell service either. https://www.bing.com/search?q=5g+cell&pc=MOZI&form=MOZLBR

I would expect all the GEOS satellite services to go the way of the giant ten foot satellite dishes of the 80s GEO low power transponder C band birds of yesteryear.

LEO Makes two way comm in the palm of your hand. No big VSAT dishes needed. Even the Satellite TV dishes today, that are like the ones of the old days that receive TV only are definitely going the way of the C Band ten foot dishes once LEO mini sat constellations are in place.

So no, Space X at LEO low orbit is not going to do any low speed GEO orbit tech when the LEO equipment will soon be so much faster.


Edited by RV_

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In the mean time while waiting for the high speed low obit internet.

I will stick to my $22.01 a month slow 9.1Mbps AT&T Mobley. :)

What will the LEO price a month be? I will change to it if less then $50 a month.

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Beats me. Musk is never on time, but he always delivers within six months to a year so of his first "will be available about" date on a brand new innovation of his. He was six months late on the Roadster, a year late on the factory, six months for the Model S, a year for the Model X and the ramp up and production of the Model 3 is a year late and ramping up now to start meeting the demand of at least 400,000 $1000 dollar down reservations for one. That alone is historic.

I agree. The price must be competitive with cable. MY 200Mbps cable Internet only bill including an additional $10 a month for "Unlimited" data above the 350GB limit without paying the extra. NO slow down points with cable I've seen but with the removal of the FCC net neutrality laws, and the unfunding of every consumer protection agency they could so far, as well as reducing the funding to the rest.

That battle is still ongoing but we have to make it known to our reps. If we don't and the removal of the rules happens, Starlink may be the only reasonable choice at some point.

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The Long way home,

We've been talking here about this for years too. in 2001-2003 I was laughed at for talking about Teledesic, hoping they would finally do it. The others you discuss in your video that are threatening to launch an LEO system are reminiscent of Bill Gates and Teledesic at the turn of the century: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teledesic

Their problem, along with the Iridium and all of the companies you mentioned in your video except Boeing through their United Launch Alliance (ULA) with Lockheed, none of these people or their predecessors have their own rocket company. The ULA is still depending on Russian RD-180 Rocket Engines which are in short supply. For years the ULA has said they will build their own copies of it soon. Space X builds their own rocket engines here in the US, and can launch at about half the price of the ULA.

As of today, the Iridium plan to replace only their current 70 satellites for their LEO sat phone biz. They are unable to cover the globe. And they are using Space X to launch them into orbit:


“Frankly, it means our future, because we have to replace this network anyway,” Iridium CEO Matthew Desch said in an interview with CBS News before the Sept. 1 Falcon mishap. “I often think of it as one of the biggest tech refreshes in the world right now, with a new $3 billion constellation.”

All together, Iridium is paying SpaceX upwards of $500 million for seven Falcon 9 launches to boost 70 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit, 10 at a time. Two more will be launched aboard a different rocket.

“Iridium’s a great customer, we’ve been working with them for, my goodness, six years so far,” Shotwell said. “We have six more launches after this with 10 satellites each. So we’ll basically be putting those 70 satellites into orbit, and that will form a network, a data network for the Iridium customers.”

Source:  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iridium-poised-to-upgrade-satellite-fleet/

The Boeing ULA group is still working on certification for a replacement of the RD-180 Russian rocket engines. the ULA also cannot launch missions as economically for the customer as Space X, who launches for about half what the ULA charges. Thus almost all commercial launches are going to Space X at this time, and many of the Military and NASA missions. The ULA prices are only affordable for government launches and they get many of those. But paying twice as much hearkens back to the good old days of the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned about in his farewell speeches as President of the US, and the $500 hammers. The ULA, like the automakers, appear to be unable to meet the challenges of changes in technology and fast nimble business models. Attacking the new guys only goes so far.

Source: http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/ula/race-replace-rd-180-goes-full-throttle/

One Web is depending on Bezos' Blue Origin to launch and they say:

" To fully bridge the Digital Divide by 2027, making Internet access available and affordable for everyone."

Constellation of satellites - Producing 900 satellites, which will circle the Earth to enable affordable access."

Source, One WEb's website: http://www.oneweb.world/

Space X is currently the world's largest small rocket engine manufacturer in the world. The ULA depends on our relations with Russia, the rest have to hire Space X, or Blue Origins to launch their satellites.

Space X alone can launch the others inexpensively compared to their competition, and are currently the only one planning a constellation of sats starting at 5000 plus.

Space X alone without partners can launch their own satellites and manage the communications traffic without partners to launch or share the costs of launching.

Space X has been tight lipped and the knowedge that they launched their first two test birds was "leaked." But if you want to see what he and Space X are doing, the OneWeb website descriptions of the goals for cell and Internet are pretty much boilerplate from Space X's intentions.  we will be using these in the next two years and take them for granted in five, in 2000 we would deem it fantasies and delusions if someone described to us then the Star Trek - like "communicators" we have today called cell phones, the video teleconferencing we call Skype among others, and the thing that most amazes us her in our house daily is the 65" full array 4k Star ship bridge view-screen with instant access worldwide to audio, video, and video calls as easy as old telephone calls. I'd have called one deluded that we would see these in just ten years. Remember in 2000 we were in a worldwide wait to see what the Y2K bug would do. We could play CDs and the first DVD players hit the US in 1997!

It is exponentially speeding up, and as an aging tech now a consumer, I like it.

Musk will have this working globally, like his BEVs ten years ago and still no American BEV with the same specs and performance ten years later. This "space race" has a leader in the sky in final development. Giant corporations are like turning a large ship, it takes miles where a smaller one can turn on a dime. Space X has the best of both and is ahead by years. But there is room for competitors, just like there is room for all in car sales. Whether the current big three and the other car ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) manufacturers fill the gaps, or other newer companies that can move fast and start engineering their own, like the Nissan Leaf, and The Goldstar Bolt, along with others WILL replace them. The ICE AGE is over.




Edited by RV_

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