Sixty SpaceX-built small satellites have made contact to ground stations since their deployment on May 24 as part of the company's efforts to establish an orbital constellation for a new broadband service, Space News reported Friday.
The small satellites, which will settle in low-Earth orbit 342 miles above the planet, consist of communication antennas and krypton-powered propulsion thrusters and are designed to deliver internet connectivity to customers worldwide via the Starlink internet service. Elon Musk, CEO at SpaceX, noted that the launch service will generate around $3B in annual revenue.
According to a SpaceX spokesperson, the company is monitoring the constellation to validate any satellites that may require deorbiting.
“All the satellites have maneuvering capability and are programmed to avoid each other and other objects in orbit by a wide margin,” the spokesperson added.