CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. May 8 (UPI) -- SpaceX's first Starlink satellites are nearing a launch date in Florida.
The launch will carry multiple satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Launch Complex 40.
SpaceX is one of several big players trying to launch new networks that use thousands of non-geostationary satellites to offer high-speed Internet and other types of communication around the globe. Others include OneWeb, which launched its first six satellites in February, and Telesat.
Kennedy Space Center's visitor complex website says it may open launch viewing opportunities to the public once SpaceX confirms the time and date, usually a few days before planned launches.
SpaceX filed for permits for the new constellation of satellites in 2016. The Federal Communications Commission approved an application in 2018 to "provide broadband services using satellite technology in the United States and around the world."
The SpaceX approval was the first OK for a U.S.-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies.
SpaceX's application originally was for 4,425 satellites in 83 orbital planes, at an approximate altitude of 690 to 823 miles, although some lower orbits were later approved. It overcame objections from competitors who express concern about frequency interference and space debris.