SpaceX is targeting February 17 for the test launch of its first satellite for global internet constellation, a project, informally known as Starlink, which aims to provide low-cost internet access on a global scale, the media reported. The prototype spacecraft, known as Microsat 2a and 2b, are reportedly to be included as secondary payloads on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Geekwire.com reported late on Sunday.
The primary payload is a 3,000-pound Spanish radar observation satellite called Paz.
“Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete — targeting February 17 launch of Paz from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California,” SpaceX tweeted on Sunday.
SpaceX has kept quiet about many of the details relating to Starlink, but the company’s business plan calls for putting thousands of communication satellites in orbit, with limited service starting by 2020, the report said. According to a report at Nasaspaceflight.com, the Paz satellite – named after the Spanish word for “peace” – will be launched into a 514 km circular orbit. It was built by Airbus for the Spanish company hisdeSAT, and will be used for military and civilian purposes.