SpaceX is building the ‘world’s most advanced’ broadband internet infrastructure in space. The aerospace company has been launching internet-beaming Starlink satellites to Low Earth Orbit atop previously-flown Falcon 9 rockets at an incredible rate. To date, there is approximately 1,440 satellites in orbit that are already providing beta internet service to select regions in the United States and abroad. This week, John Collison, co-founder of the Stripe payment processing platform, shared SpaceX Starlink service is available in Ireland via Twitter –“Roaring performance from SpaceX Starlink in Ireland,” he wrote, “Partnering with Stripe for payments, of course!” Collison also shared a screenshot of an online speed test that says he has been receiving high-speed internet from the Starlink network, download speed of 238.34Mbps (megabits per second), upload speed of 34.39 Mbps, and latency (ping) of 37ms (milliseconds).
SpaceX is primarily focused on connecting rural regions across the world to the Starlink broadband constellation, that will have over 4,400 satellites beaming internet connection down to user terminals. The Starlink terminals are a technologically advanced phased-array antenna dish, around the size of a large pizza, that is easy to install. “Would be amazing for expanding broadband access in rural Ireland -- just plonk the dish down outside and plug it in. Hope they get full approval for Irish operations soon,” Collison said. His Tweet caught SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s attention – “Cool!” he responded.
Cool! 🇮🇪— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2021
For now, Starlink service is available to a limited amount of users per region on a 'first-come, first-served' basis via Starlink.com. Musk shared in February that SpaceX aims to achieve Starlink service coverage of “most of Earth by end of year, all by next year, then it’s about densifying coverage,” he said. “Important to note that cellular will always have the advantage in dense urban areas. Satellites are best for low to medium population density areas,” Musk added. Starlink will be beneficial to rural and remote communities where internet service is unreliable or completely unavailable. Musk previously said that Starlink’s speed will increase to 300Mbps and latency will drop to 20ms later this year as the satellite constellation grows. SpaceX will launch the next fleet of Starlink satellites tonight, April 28. A six-times-flown Falcon 9 rocket will liftoff at 11:44 p.m. EDT, carrying 60 satellites to low Earth orbit where they will operate at an altitude of around 550-kilometers above our planet. You can watch SpaceX launch the satellites to space Live 10-minutes before liftoff in the video linked below.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
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.