In May, SpaceX founder Elon Musk met with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and the Minister of Communications Fábio Faria to discuss plans to bring Starlink service to the country. Starlink will benefit rural communities and help protect the Amazon rainforest. "Super excited [...] for launch of Starlink for 19,000 unconnected schools in rural areas & environmental monitoring of Amazon!" said Musk on May 20.
These plans are already coming to fruition. SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer [COO] Gwynne Shotwell traveled to Brazil this week to visit a school in the Amazon region that is already connected to Starlink. The school did not have reliable internet access because it is situated in a remote community. "School connected with Starlink in the Amazon Region! I am on my way to the region of Careiro da Várzea (AM) with the company's [COO] Gwynne Shotwell, to visit a school that has been connected to the company's internet. Partnership initiative of the gov[ernment] of Jair Bolsonaro," shared Faria on September 22 via Twitter (quote is written in Portuguese and translated to English). They also shared photographs of Ms. Shotwell with the school kids watching a live video of Mr. Musk on a screen, livestream powered by the newly installed Starlink network, pictured below.
"Education is the path out of poverty and Internet access enables education," said Musk. Around 40 million Brazilian people have no access to the Internet, that is around 19% of the population. Starlink will provide internet coverage to hard-to-reach regions in the country, enabling communities to have new education and job opportunities to improve their lives. SpaceX's Starlink satellite constellation is capable of beaming Internet data anywhere on the planet and the network is very easy to install. Users simply plug the phased array antenna to an electricity source and point it at a clear view of the sky to access the internet wirelessly via a Wi-Fi router. As of today, SpaceX operates around 3,300 satellites orbiting Earth that provide high-speed internet access to over half-a-million subscribers living across all seven continents.
Amazônia CONECTADA! 🇧🇷@elonmusk, o Brasil agradece!!— Fábio Faria 🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 (@fabiofaria) September 22, 2022
Estou agora em Careiro da Várzea (AM), onde instalamos a conexão da Starlink. @Gwynne_Shotwel, obrigado por nos ajudar a conectar o país. O nosso governo trabalha para isso. 👊 pic.twitter.com/nWGwH3LFcB
Featured Image Source: Fabio Faria via Twitter
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.