SpaceX's Starlink Launch Is the Latest Milestone in Space Race Among Private Companies

Elon Musk's aerospace company, SpaceX, will launch its third Starlink satellite at mission tonight, January 6, in what will be a bid to send 60 more operational satellites into Earth's orbit, taking the Starlink satellite total to 180.

Starlink—another manifestation of Musk's cosmic ambitions—is a proposed internet satellite constellation that is, according to SpaceX, "the world's most advanced broadband internet system." With thousands of satellites in orbit working with "ground transceivers," Starlink can provide a global internet network to reach areas previously afflicted with "unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable" internet.

Falcon 9 SpaceX Rocket
A Falcon 9 reusable SpaceX rocket launches into the atmosphere. 6381380

The satellites will be lifted by SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 rocket, which will be the first such flight of the new decade, according to NASA Space Flight. The Falcon 9 rocket is the "first orbital class rocket capable of reflight," according to SpaceX, and is one of four actual or proposed space vehicles comprising SpaceX's arsenal.

The first Starlink launch (with experimental satellites) was on May 23, 2019; the second launch (with operational satellites) on November 11, 2019; both launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, where tonight's launch is set to take place.

The Starlink-SpaceX saga is seen as the slow blossoming of the radical new relationship between humans and space. Humans are better positioned to look out at the stars—from satellites—and to leverage technology within the slippery astrophysics to better the human experience.

An eager audience can expect a launch tonight, save poor weather conditions or other. With a successful launch, SpaceX will become the world's largest private satellite operator.

The space race took off in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the world's first satellite, Sputnik, into orbit. As of the beginning of 2019, approximately 4,987 satellites were revolving around the Earth, according to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs' Index of Objects Launched into Outer Space.

Satellites Operation in Space
The increase in satellites in space is are changing the world's digital structure and paradigm. metamorworks

So, while SpaceX is perhaps the most popular and publicized private space company, the industry of shooting things into space is only nearing its adolescence. Other companies share Musk's desire for space supremacy.

Companies like Blue Origin, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Northrop Grumman and Orbital manufacture cargo or crew transport "vehicles." There is an ever-increasing demand for propulsion systems and satellite manufacturers, and an emerging economy in space mining could theoretically become a multitrillion-dollar enterprise.

The second coming of the space race is less political—more corporately driven—but it is coming; and it's posed to equally revolutionize how humans use, explore, think of and soar through space.

A list of SpaceX's completed missions and future missions can be viewed at Spacex.com/Missions.

SpaceX's Starlink Launch Is the Latest Milestone in Space Race Among Private Companies | News