While You Were Sleeping, SpaceX Launched Its Starlink Satellites

Sixty sats take off from Cape Canaveral in the first step to delivering high-speed Internet everywhere.

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JIM WATSONGetty Images

After several delays, SpaceX has finally launched the first 60 satellites of its Starlink program. The California company hopes that the satellites, launched on a Falcon 9 rocket whose booster was making its third mission, will eventually be joined by 12,000 or so others as the company attempts to expand low-cost broadband internet across the globe.

You can watch the launch here:

The Falcon 9 rocket's booster on the company's “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The landing marked SpaceX's 40th successful booster recovery. The 60 satellites were stored in the rocket's nose, which CEO Elon Musk referred to as a "tight fit."

First 60 Starlink satellites loaded into Falcon fairing. Tight fit.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

The digital divide between countries with and without broadband access has been a stubborn one for years, and studies have shown it closely . SpaceX is far from the only company looking to close that gap at a tidy profit. , Facebook, and a variety of smaller players are looking to get satellites in orbit within the next few years.

But it looks like the era of satellite internet just took one big step.

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