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SpaceX to launch test satellites for global broadband service

by Justin King

If successful, Elon Musk says the Starlink constellation \"will serve the least served.\"

SpaceX is preparing to launch two experimental satellites for its proposed global broadband service.

The test satellites -- Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b -- will help the company explore the viability of a much larger constellation of microsatellites, known as Starlink, that could number in the thousands.

Current satellite internet services rely on just a few orbiting devices, limiting bandwidth and resulting in relatively high costs for a few niche customers. Starlink aims to significantly slash prices and compete directly with terrestrial wireless and wired internet service across the globe.

"If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served," says SpaceX chief Elon Musk.

The company scrubbed today's launch due to high altitude wind shear. The next instantaneous launch opportunity is scheduled for 9:17am EST on Thursday. The Falcon 9 liftoff will be streamed live (feed embedded below), however the company does not plan to land the rocket's first stage.