Featured Image Source: SpaceX
SpaceX is deploying internet-beaming Starlink satellites on a monthly basis to offer service worldwide. To date, there are 768 satellites in low Earth orbit out of the approximate 4,400 that will comprise the first phase of the broadband network. Starlink customers will receive internet connection via user dish terminals that will be easy to install. According to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, the terminal will only require electricity and to be pointed at the sky. SpaceX aims to close the digital divide in rural and tribal communites where traditional terrestrial internet connection is unavailable or too expensive to aquire.
This week, Musk was asked via Twitter: "Will Starlink dishes be deployable on high-speed moving objects like trains? It would be incredible if trains moving through the middle of nowhere finally could have stable high-speed internet connections!" the Twitter user wrote. In response, Musk replied --"Yes. Everything is slow to a phased array antenna." Musk's comment suggests Starlink internet will work aboard moving transportation vehicles, including cars. Starlink users could be capable of staying connected anywhere they go, as long as they have a way to power the dish terminal and a clear view of the sky.
Yes. Everything is slow to a phased array antenna.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 14, 2020
Company employees are actively beta testing the satellites. SpaceX states the Starlink network can currently deliver download speeds greater than 100 megabits per second, with a latency of less than 30 milliseconds. SpaceX plans to rollout a public beta testing phase of the network soon, and is asking potential customers to sign-up via e-mail at Starlink.com to receive updates of when the service will be available in their city. Starlink will first be offered in northern United States and southern Canada before this year ends. The United States' Federal Communications Commission already approved the operation of 1 million user terminals in the country. Canada is still pending regulatory approval to offer service.
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.