SpaceX will 'roll out a fairly wide public beta' testing phase of its Starlink network

SpaceX will 'roll out a fairly wide public beta' testing phase of its Starlink network

Starlink Digital Illustration Created By: Erc X @ErcXspace via Twitter.

SpaceX plans to provide low-latency, high-speed Starlink broadband internet worldwide, mainly focused on rural areas where internet connection is unreliable and nonexistent. With around 768 internet-beaming Starlink satellites already in orbit, SpaceX plans to soon offer a Public Beta Testing phase of its broadband network.

The latest fleet of 60 satellites was deployed on Tuesday, October 6 at around 7:29 a.m. EDT, a twice-flown Falcon 9 lifted off for its third flight from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The company aims to launch at least 120 satellites per month - equivalent to two rocket launches - to complete the Starlink constellation that will initially consist of deploying 4,409 satellies in low Earth orbit.

SpaceX employees are actively assessing the network. Early this year, the company offered employees to Private Beta Test the Starlink network and provided them with a user terminal dish and Wi-Fi router to receive internet from the satellites in orbit. It is unclear how many of these satellites are operational/available during the testing phase. The United States Air Force is also actively testing the network. Military officials have revealed they are impressed by the network's performance.

The founder of SpaceX Elon Musk said on Tuesday, after the thirteenth fleet of Starlink satellites were deployed, -- "Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US & hopefully southern Canada. Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval," he wrote via Twitter. Beta testers will be selected based on where they live. Starlink will initially only be available in northern latitudes. 



The Starlink satellites operate at an altitude of around 550 kilometers in low Earth orbit. Each satellite is equipped with Krypton-powered ion thrusters that shoot particles to propel towards the target location. The latest fleet of 60 satellites could reach operational orbit in approximately four to five weeks, based on data from previous deployments.



Musk says Starlink is designed for competitive gaming; It offers broadband internet with low-latency below 30 milliseconds and download speeds greater than 100 megabits per second. As the constellation grows, the satellites will unlock their full potential. If you would like to become a beta tester of the Starlink service you can sign-up via to receive e-mail updates of when the service will be available in your area. Future Starlink Public Beta Testers will temporarily receive a 19-inch user terminal dish and a Wi-Fi router to connect to the service. Musk also shared the terminal will be very easy to install at home, simply 'plug-in and point at sky'. The dish terminal will require a clear view of the northern sky. According to information leaked in the Starlink website's HTML source code (pictured below), SpaceX may offer the Starlink Beta service for free with a minimum fee of $1.00 USD to test its billing system and ensure their hardware is returned [this information is subject to change].

Image Source: Henry Lim @henrylim96 via Twitter

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn 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.

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