SpaceX announces future plan to launch thousands of small

Elon Musk-led SpaceX on Wednesday announced its plans to launch thousands of small satellites starting in 2019 to establish a global broadband internet constellation. Patricia Cooper, vice president of satellite government affairs at SpaceX, told the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation that the private-sector firm wanted to launch 4,425 small satellites to low Earth orbit starting in 2019.

The satellites, all of which would be launched in phases on Falcon 9 rockets, will be fully deployed by 2024. During a broadband infrastructure hearing in the national capital, Cooper told senators, “SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle.”

SpaceX believes that building out a space-based data service would help bypass several of the issues being faced by consumers, businesses and other entities on Earth’s surface. For instance, the common challenges associated with digging trenches and laying fiber would be materially alleviated through the desired space-based broadband network.

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