New satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network set for launch Monday from Cape Canaveral will debut several performance and safety upgrades, but they do not include changes to reduce the brightness of the satellites, a modification SpaceX says it will introduce on future Starlink craft to mitigate their impacts on ground-based astronomy.
SpaceX test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday at Cape Canaveral for the company’s next launch, which is set for takeoff Monday at around 9:56 a.m. EST (1456 GMT). The rocket will launch with the next batch of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellites, the company’s first launch since early August. There is an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for launch Monday.
Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and chief executive, spoke with reporters via conference call May 15 as the company prepared for the launch of the first 60 satellites to build out a network of potentially thousands of broadband relay stations in low Earth orbit providing high-speed Internet to consumers around the world.