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SpaceX blasts its first broadband satellites into orbit

2018-02-23 14:23 by
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SpaceX is one step closer to providing low-cost broadband internet access after launching the first two demonstration satellites for its planned satellite constellation Thursday morning.

A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4E at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Falcon 9's first stage separates from the second stage moments after about two minutes from liftoff. The launch's primary mission is to deliver PAZ, a radar-imaging satellite, into orbit for the Spain-based company Hisdesat.

The Hisdesat payload is a satellite with radar instrumentation on board, with a planned service mission of providing monitoring activities for both government and commercial clients over an intended linespace of five and a half years. The primary payload isn't the whole story, however – this rocket will also be carrying two test satellites for SpaceX's global broadband satellite internet service.

Officially known as Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, the spacecraft will test technologies that would enable the creation of a pervasive broadband network with connection speeds roughly 180 times the global average.

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