SpaceX rocket launch scheduled for Monday night from Cape Canaveral

SpaceX founder Elon Musk waves at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX test-fires rocket ahead of launch of third batch of Starlink satellites

The tweet revealed a targetted launch date of January 6 at 02:19 UTC from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

We're only a few days into 2020 and SpaceX is already gearing up for its first launch of the year. After tonight SpaceX plans to launch three more missions this month - two more taking Starlink payloads, and another testing its Crew Dragon capsule, which has been created to transport astronauts to and from Low Eart Orbit, on Friday, weather permitting. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Today's launch will see the number of Starlink satellites in orbit increase to 180, putting SpaceX on a path to be the first company to provide tangible internet coverage.

SpaceX plans to operate its initial batch of 1,584 satellites 341 miles (549km) above the Earth, hovering much lower than traditional communications satellites.

According to a SpaceX / Starlink press release, once all satellite positioned in space, "SpaceX engineers will conduct data reviews to ensure all Starlink satellites are operating as intended".

This launch will add 60 more satellites to the SpaceX Starlink constellation, joining 60 launched at the end of past year, and a previous group of 60 launched earlier in 2019 for testing and experimentation purposes. They include US IT giant Amazon and US venture OneWeb.

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The combination of firsts and technical feats would lead anyone to believe that Monday night's launch is exceptional. On Jan. 6, the workhorse Falcon 9 booster will be sending a batch of 60 Starlink satellites into low-earth orbit, part of the company's plans to deliver broadband internet across the globe.

Such traditional geostationary satellites are too distant to provide the kind of affordable internet access SpaceX aims to establish.

Among the 60 satellites set to be deployed tomorrow is a single test article treated with a new anti-reflective coating.

Starlink will provide high-speed, relatively low-latency broadband internet connectivity to customers on the ground, starting with those in the USA and Canada, with service potentially becoming available as early as later this year.

In a basic SpaceX transfer, the corporate's Starlink satellite bus is a radical departure from all different business spacecraft, choosing a desk-like rectangular form that's extremely flat.

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