Three years after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled the project in Seattle, 1st test satellites for SpaceX’s global internet constellation is ready for a launch.
The prototype spacecraft, known as Microsat 2a and 2b, is reported to be included as secondary payloads on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
SpaceX is targeting February 17 for the test launch of its first satellite for global internet constellation.
SpaceX conducted a static-fire test of the Falcon 9, which makes use of a previously flown first-stage booster, at Vandenberg today. The test was conducted by briefly firing the booster’s rocket engines.
The primary payload is a 3,000-pound Spanish radar observation satellite called Paz.
According to a report, the Paz satellite is 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.
“Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete — targeting February 17 launch of Paz from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California,” SpaceX tweeted on Sunday.
Documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission indicate that ground stations will be housed at SpaceX facilities in Redmond and Brewster, Wash., as well as at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., and facilities in McGregor and Brownsville in Texas.
Another ground station will be placed at Tesla’s headquarters in Fremont, Calif., which Musk heads as CEO.