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Elon Musk shows us the 60 satellites that will one day help power a better internet


Elon Musk shows us the 60 satellites that will one day help power a better internetThe first seeds of SpaceX's Starlink project will shortly be planted.On Saturday, Elon Musk tweeted a photo of 60 satellites packed into the fairing, or nose cone, of his company's Falcon rocket. The hardware represents a first step toward finishing Starlink, an eventual satellite constellation which will beam high-speed net down to Earth from space.The fairing is the same one that carried a Tesla Roadster into space in 2018. Musk included a photo of that as well, merely to give his followers a sense of scale. Where the Roadster barely filled up the bottom section of the fairing's interior, the satellites look positively crammed in.> 60 @SpaceX Starlink satellites packed into Falcon fairing. Tight fit. Pic.twitter.com/gZq8gHg9uK> > — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2019This first set of satellites is expected to take to the skies in the coming days, possibly as early as Wednesday. Musk warned that there might be issues since this is the first appropriate Starlink mission after an early 2018 launching that sent two presentation satellites skyward.But there are also many more launches to come. Starlink will ultimately depend on a network consisting of thousands of satellites, but even in its earlier form the eventual constellation will require numerous launches before it's partially operational.> Much will likely go wrong. Also, 6 more launches of 60 sats needed for minor coverage, 12 for medium.> > — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2019The fantasy of high-speed net delivered from space could be realized by Starlink, but it's going to take a lot of work. SpaceX plans — and has received Federal Communications Commission approval — to send nearly 12,000 satellites into low orbit where they'll split into three orbital shell-encased clusters arrayed around Earth.SEE ALSO: SpaceX just blasted a critical NASA device into spaceWhile the long-term project shows great promise, it's also not without risks. Sending that much hardware into orbit — each fuel-carrying satellite weighs around 900 lbs — adds to an already risky accumulation of space junk in the immediate vicinity of Earth.UPDATE: May 13, 2019, 8:26 a.m. EDT An earlier version of this story incorrectly called the national agency that allowed Starlink approval as the Federal Trade Commission. It is the Federal Communications Commission. WATCH: This space harpoon could be a solution to our space junk Issue that is growing

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