Featured Image Source: SpaceX
SpaceX aims to build thousands of Starships capable of transporting hundreds of passengers to Mars. The company will offer Starlink broadband internet service to fund its space program. The Starlink network will consist of surrounding Earth with 12,000 small internet-beaming satellites that will keep the world connected. SpaceX first aims to offer Starlink internet to rural areas around Earth where internet connection is unreliable and nonexistent. Customers will receive Starlink’s signal from space via user terminals that look like a "UFO on a stick." The Federal Communications Commission already approved the operation of one million user terminals in the United States. Starlink will initially be available only in northern portions of the United States and Canada. By next year, SpaceX expects to offer its service across the United States and “will rapidly expand to near-global coverage of the populated world in 2021.”
Today, June 12, SpaceX updated its website, now you can find out when will Starlink be available in your city! “Get updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area,” the website reads –you simply type your email address and city’s zip code to receive email updates. Sign up via SpaceX’s website: STARLINK UPDATES
SpaceX will initiate Starlink beta tests this year. Upon signing up for Starlink updates, you will receive an email that says the service “is designed to deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.” The email details that a private beta testing is planned for “later this summer, followed by public beta testing.” These beta tests will only be offered to those who live in higher latitudes. So, if you sign up you could be a potential candidate for public beta tests if you live in northern parts of the country.
According to the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk, Starlink will be low latency, high-speed broadband internet with a “latency below 20 milliseconds, so, somebody could play a fast-response video game at a competitive level.”
SpaceX software engineer Matt Monson leads Starlink software development, he revealed satellites are getting software updates weekly and are already generating 5 terabytes of data daily – that is equivalent to a trillion bytes! He shared SpaceX uses the Linux operating system – “Each launch of 60 satellites contains more than 4,000 Linux computers,” Monson said. “The constellation has more than 30,000 Linux nodes (and more than 6,000 microcontrollers) in space right now.” SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California already have access to the network, according to a post shared via Twitter by an investor, Steve Jurveston, shown below.
Looking up to the skies with open eyes!— Steve Jurvetson (@FutureJurvetson) June 12, 2020
Went to HQ and set up a Starlink terminal that connected to the satellites orbiting overhead. Simplest out-of-box experience imaginable.
Can't wait to upgrade my broadband later this year! pic.twitter.com/6tsk1JwzzU
The United States military is currently assessing Starlink’s speed. Engineers have hooked user terminals in the cockpit of Air Force airplanes. Last Year, the President of SpaceX Gwynne Shotwell said –“We are delivering high bandwidth into the cockpit of Air Force planes [...] Right now we're just testing the capability and figuring out how to make it work.” She also told reporters the network is “one hundred times faster” than previous connections.
Tomorrow, June 13, SpaceX plans to deploy 58 internet-beaming satellites to add on to its current network of 480 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit. These, operate at an altitude of around 550-kilometers above the surface. If Saturday’s mission is successful, SpaceX will have a total of 538 Starlink satellites in orbit. SpaceX officials previously said 800 satellites will have the capacity to provide “moderate” internet coverage.