SpaceX breaks rocket launch record with latest Starlink mission

Elon Musk hopes to deliver high-speed broadband to more than 99 per cent of the populated world through internet satellites

Anthony Cuthbertson
Friday 03 December 2021 06:41
<p>SpaceX launched its latest batch of Starlink satellites into orbit on 2 December, 2021, from Cape Canaveral, Florida</p>

SpaceX launched its latest batch of Starlink satellites into orbit on 2 December, 2021, from Cape Canaveral, Florida

SpaceX has broken its own launch record for the number of rockets sent to space in a single year.

The latest Starlink mission saw another batch of internet satellites delivered to low-Earth orbit, lifting off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday.

It marked the 27th successful launch for the private space firm in 2021, beating the 26 launches it achieved in 2020.

View more

Up to six more launches are planned before the end of the year, while 2022 could see even more lift offs for SpaceX.

The Falcon 9 rocket launched 48 Starlink satellites into orbit, bringing the total constellation size to more than 1,750.

SpaceX plans to launch up to 42,000 Starlink satellites into orbit in order to deliver high-speed internet to more than 99 per cent of the populated world.

“Starlink enables video calls, online gaming, streaming, and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet,” the firm’s website claims.

“While most satellite internet services today come from single geostationary satellites that orbit the planet at about 35,000km, Starlink is a constellation of multiple satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth, at about 550km, and cover the entire globe.

“Because Starlink satellites are in a low orbit, the round-trip data time between the user and the satellite – also known as latency – is much lower than with satellites in geostationary orbit.”

Starlink users are able to connect to the service by purchasing a router and dish from SpaceX and connecting through an app. Average download speeds currently range between 100 Mb/s and 200 Mb/s and latency as low as 20ms in most locations.

In October, SpaceX boss Elon Musk said the company was in talks with airlines to deliver “low latency ~half gigabit connectivity in the air” through Starlink.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in