By Sean Keane – CNET
May 13, 2019 –Elon Musk gave us a look at his company’s Starlink internet satellites ahead their trip beyond our world in a Falcon 9 rocket.The SpaceX boss tweeted a shot of the satellites flat-packed in the rocket’s nose cone.
“First 60 @SpaceX Starlink satellites loaded into Falcon fairing. Tight fit,” he wrote.
The company is hoping to launch on Tuesday or Wednesday, but Musk also warned that “much will likely go wrong” with this first mission and that the company will need to make six more launches of 60 satellites required for minor coverage and double that for moderate.
Musk highlighted that these satellites are “production design,” unlike February 2018’s proof of concept Tintin launch. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said last week that these are still only scaled-down test models — the company will start launching satellites for actual service later in 2019, according to Space News.
SpaceX ultimately plans to launch a constellation of nearly 12,000 satellites, according to Federal Communications Commission filings from March and November 2018.
Musk reportedly fired at least seven senior managers over disagreements about the program’s pace last June.