SpaceX's goal is to close the digital divide in rural communities where internet connection is unreliable and unavailable. With nearly 900 internet-beaming Starlink satellites orbiting Earth, SpaceX is already offering broadband internet service in portions of Canada and Northern United States. Early November, SpaceX sent out e-mail invitations to potential Canadian customers offering them a deal to Beta test the Starlink network. The company called the service the "Better Than Nothing Beta" test program. SpaceX told potential customers what they can expect from being part of the program to test out Starlink internet service --"As you can see from the title, we are trying to lower your initial expectations," SpaceX wrote, "Expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s [megabits per second] and latency from 20ms to 40ms [milliseconds] over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system," the company wrote in an e-mail. Starlink customers receive service via a phased-array antenna dish and Wi-Fi router device.
Former Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield shared he is a SpaceX Starlink internet Beta tester. Astronaut Hadfield served as a Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, then he became the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk. He has flown two Space Shuttle missions and was commander of the International Space Station. Hadfield shared via Twitter a photograph of the Starlink dish antenna beside his dog captioned --"Albert & our dish. We're SpaceX Starlink beta testers, way happy with the internet speed and what it means for remote communities across the country, especially under COVID," he wrote.
Albert & our dish. We're @SpaceXStarlink beta testers, way happy with the internet speed and what it means for remote communities across the country, especially under COVID. pic.twitter.com/GtKmyfvBbt— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) November 18, 2020
Hadfield also conducted a speed test of the Starlink service using an automated online tool. He shared an image featuring information of his current Starlink internet speeds. Starlink is providing him with high-speed broadband internet connectivity, low-latency of 26 milliseconds (ms), download speeds of 133 megabits per second (Mbps), and upload speed of 46.6 Mbps. The online speed test tool he used states the Starlink network is providing "very fast" connection, "Your Internet connection should be able to handle multiple devices streaming HD videos, video conferencing, and gaming at the same time," the automated speed tool wrote about the network's speed. Sign-up via Starlink.com to receive updates about when Starlink service will be available in your area.
About the Author
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.