SpaceX Sends 60 Starlink Satellites into a Different Orbit, but Misses 50th Booster Landing

Alan Boyle, GeekWire

GeekWire contributing editor Alan Boyle is an award-winning science writer and veteran space reporter. Formerly of NBCNews.com, he is the author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference." Follow him via CosmicLog.com, on Twitter @b0yle, and on Facebook and MeWe.

SpaceX Sends 60 Starlink Satellites into a Different Orbit, but Misses 50th Booster Landing

SpaceX launched 60 more satellites for its Starlink internet broadband constellation on a Falcon 9 rocket Monday, bringing the total count to 300.

Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida came at 10:05 a.m. ET (7:05 a.m. PT). This Falcon's first-stage booster had been used threetimesbefore over the course of nine months, but missed making its fourth at-sea landing today. If successful, it would have been SpaceX's 50th booster landing. SpaceX also aims to try recovering the rocket's nose cone at sea.


The stack of flat-panel satellites, each weighing about 570 pounds, was deployed into an elliptical orbit about 15 minutes after launch. That's different from past practice, which involved deployment into a circular orbit about an hour after liftoff. After an initial checkout, the satellites will use ion thrusters to raise their orbits to the operational altitude of 342 miles (550 kilometers).

SpaceX plans to start limited internet service later this year. Over the longer term, the company is aiming to operate thousands of Starlink spacecraft — which are manufactured at its facility in Redmond, Wash. The prospect of having so many satellites in low Earth orbit has already sparked concerns about space traffic jams and interference with astronomical observations.

This story first appeared on GeekWire. Love space and science? Sign up for our GeekWire Space & Science email newsletter for top headlines from Alan Boyle, GeekWire's aerospace and science editor.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Motional Links With Uber to Make Robotaxis a Reality

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Motional
Image courtesy of Motional

Motional, a self-driving taxi startup backed by Hyundai, will partner with Uber to bring its robotic taxis to cities throughout the United States within the next decade as part of its push to get people more comfortable with the concept of taking a ride in a driverless electric vehicle.

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