Featured Image Source: Tobias Lindh @tobilindh via Twitter
SpaceX is rapidly moving towards offering Starlink broadband internet globally. The company founded by Elon Musk, currently operates approximately 1,085 satellites in low Earth orbit that currently provide beta service to 10,000 users in the United States and abroad. Company officials state that to provide near-global internet coverage around 1,440 satellites are needed. Starlink service is offered directly to consumers who signed up via Starlink.com. As more satellites are deployed SpaceX will invite more users into their growing network. The next fleet of 60 internet-beaming satellites is scheduled to launch next week, no earlier than February 11.
SpaceX already connected countries in Europe to the Starlink network. Some individuals living in rural areas in United Kingdom and Germany already have access to the service. In December, Germany’s telecommunication regulators approved SpaceX Starlink operations in the country. The agency assigned the U.S. company radio frequencies for the satellite internet network. “We have created the legal frequency requirements so that broadband internet can be offered via satellite in Germany,” Jochen Homann, the head of the regulatory agency told German reporters in December. Due to the novelty of the Starlink network, the regulatory agency states the frequency allocation is limited to one year to make adjustments for long-term approval. SpaceX also received permission to build Starlink Gateway ground stations in Germany. Two stations are already undergoing construction. These stations will enable reliable data communication to the satellites in orbit. To receive internet connection customers use a phased-array antenna dish. SpaceX says "the Starlink phased-array user terminal... is more advanced than what's in fighter jets." It features technology that enables it to search for an optimal view of the sky and is capable of reorienting itself. Today, February 6, a Berlin resident saw a Starlink dish antenna atop Musk’s Tesla Gigafactory, pictured below. The factory is still under construction and is already using Starlink internet service. Giga Berlin is where the company will manufacture Tesla batteries and powertrains, as well as assemble the Tesla Model Y electric vehicle. The factory is expected to begin operations until July 2021.
Giga Berlin progress pic.twitter.com/ekpG5qcbUi— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 1, 2021
Featured Image Source: @tobilindh via Twitter
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.