SpaceX is in the early stages of building hardware at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station that will help manage Starlink, its effort to beam internet access from low-Earth orbit.
The California-based company recently began submitting permitting documents for a ground station near its fairing processing facility, which is located on a patch of land on the Banana River just west of United Launch Alliance's Launch Complex 37. The plans appeared last week in documents filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District.
The documents show a 50-foot-by-50-foot patch of land that will host at least one satellite dish capable of communicating with the Starlink constellation.
Future users of the network, however, won't need hardware near as large – in documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the company said customers can get access with a pizza box-sized terminal. The service could open on a limited basis as soon as the second half of this year.
The inclusion of a ground station at the Cape isn't the only Starlink-related news. A Falcon 9 rocket packed with 60 more satellites for the constellation is slated to launch from Kennedy Space Center at 3:16 p.m. Thursday, a mission that will include a drone ship landing in the Atlantic.
If all goes according to plan, that seventh mission will push the constellation's size to more than 400 spacecraft in low-Earth orbit. SpaceX hopes to eventually have thousands of the flat-packed satellites circling overhead, providing even coverage for potential customers around the globe.
Quelle: Florida Today