The launch is a small part of what SpaceX is ultimately aiming for as a much larger project: a group of potentially thousands of satellites moving across the Earth, so the company could eventually make low-cost Internet available to a significant portion of the world's population who is not online yet.
Currently, the Internet is mainly provided via wireless cell towers or cables to your home or office. This leaves extremely rural or impoverished communities without affordable access. There are satellite-based Internet options, but these services are notoriously slow, expensive or unreliable. (The Wi-Fi you get, for example, aboard a transatlantic flight, is supplied by satellites.)
SpaceX has competition from other financially strong companies. OneWeb and Amazon are the big ones, but there are also lesser known companies like LeoSat and Telesat.
A successful start on Wednesday would surely "bring SpaceX to the top," said Shagun Sachdeva, an analyst at Northern Sky Research.
But Sachdeva has raised questions about whether spaceX should plan a constellation of satellites that could ultimately amount to 12,000.
It expects the company to reach a watershed when it no longer pays to use new satellites. For example, the company will not benefit greatly from completely covering the oceans.
"It is crucial to recognize the point where" the costs outweigh the benefits, "she wrote in a recent report.