WEATHER »
SpaceX launches the Spanish 'Paz' satellite and two internet probes from Vandenberg Air Force Base on February 22, 2018.

NASA spaceflight.com

SpaceX launches the Spanish 'Paz' satellite and two internet probes from Vandenberg Air Force Base on February 22, 2018.


SpaceX Launches Internet Satellite


SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the first test satellites for Starlink Internet Constellation and a Spanish Earth-observing satellite called Paz into low-Earth orbit at 6:17 a.m. on February 22 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The $200 million Spanish satellite can generate high-resolution images up to 25 centimeters during the day or night and regardless of meteorological conditions. It will orbit the Earth 15 times per day, covering the entire globe in just 24 hours. The satellite, whose mission is expected to last five and a half years, will gather data for the Spanish government and other customers.

In addition to Paz, the payload includes two SpaceX prototype probes — named Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b — the first of what will potentially become a “constellation” of 12,000 space-internet satellites that will provide low-cost, high-speed internet to even the most remote corners of the world. SpaceX expects its Starlink program will turn huge profits, much of which will be put toward developing a future program to establish cities on Mars.

The launch of the 70-meter-long rocket came after two launch delays earlier this week, the first to allow additional time for final checkouts of the upgraded fairing and the second due to high-altitude winds. This is the second major success for SpaceX this month, which launched a Tesla Roadster toward Mars on February 6.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Santa Barbara Priests Named in New Abuse Reports

Twelve men accused of child molestation served in area parishes.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Far Higher than Projected

The county misses its target by a whopping 29 percentage points.

Toasts and Roasts for Wolf and Hart

There will be a changing of the guard for the second supervisorial district.

ICE Detains Individual on Westside

Enforcement action on Wednesday morning questioned community members and picked up one person.

Rough Start for San Marcos Principal Search

Parents and board members are demanding more transparency from the district.