Update: The SpaceX launch just happened. You can watch the ongoing live stream below, followed by video highlights of the actual liftoff.
A new SpaceX launch live stream (embedded below) is happening right now, and this time the mission is to deliver not astronauts, but satellites for something you can actually buy into right now: space-based high-speed internet.
The SpaceX Starlink launch is going to put 60 satellites into orbit (it already has 1,000 floating up there). The consumer-benefitting payload will jettison into the night sky from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The SpaceX live stream is happening now. The launch time is exactly Monday, at 10:59pm EST / 7:59pm PST in the US, or Tuesday at 3:59am GMT / 2:59pm AEST. As with any SpaceX launch, you'll want to tune in a few minutes before those Falcon 9 rocket ignites, so plan to watch ahead of the post timed. Here's the SpaceX launch live stream video:
Never gets old. 🚀 https://t.co/idQ3CXlx2jFebruary 16, 2021
What is the SpaceX Starlink launch all about?
The Elon Musk-founded private space company is determined to bring internet to the globe by placing satellites in space and beaming high-speed, low-latency internet speeds to a satellites.
This is a major advantage for rural communities where fast internet is spotty and non-existent. Stringing long fiber optic cables has challenged cable companies trying to service a few rural residents located outside of dense cities and suburbs.
SpaceX says it wants to change that. Starlink speeds are expected to vary between 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s, according to the official SpaceX Starlink sign-up page, and latency should fall between 20ms to 40ms in most locations.
The SpaceX program is currently in beta and limited to certain geographic areas. You have to type in your address to see if it's been rolled out in your part of the world. We're seeing mid-to-late-2021 availability, but can already put $99 on the service.
SpaceX Starlink internet service will cost $99 a month, which is on par or a little higher than with internet packages in the US. We pay around $75 a month.
The kicker is that you'll have to pay for the hardware and shipping: a one-time fee of $50 for the shipping and handling, and $499 for the Starlink dish, Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables and mounting tripod. There's also tax, at least in the US.
If Starlink is fast enough, it may act as a competitor to the fiber optic cable-providers, which are often monopolies or oligopolies in many parts of the world. Today's SpaceX launch is to further along the Starlink beta located 300 miles in the sky.