On Monday, December 19, SpaceX announced it now has over 1 million subscribers globally. The Starlink broadband satellite constellation provides coverage to 45 countries across all seven continents. "Starlink now has more than 1,000,000 active subscribers – thank you to all customers and members of the Starlink team who contributed to this milestone ❤️💫🌎 ," wrote SpaceX via Twitter. The company also shared a short video showcasing how easy it is to set-up the Starlink user terminal to access the internet wirelessly, linked below.
Starlink now has more than 1,000,000 active subscribers – thank you to all customers and members of the Starlink team who contributed to this milestone ❤️💫🌎 https://t.co/5suNxFvtEH pic.twitter.com/E1ojYarcEA— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 19, 2022
The Starlink Kit to access the satellite network includes: a phased-array user antenna, a Wi-Fi router, and tripod base. According to SpaceX engineers, the Starlink user antenna features technology more advanced than what's on fighter jets. The antenna is capable of finding the orbiting satellites and reorienting itself to point at the ideal view of the sky. The user simply has to connect the devices to an electricity source and follow the Starlink App instructions. "Starlink is the world's first and largest satellite constellation using a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, video calls and more," says SpaceX. "Leveraging advanced satellites and user hardware coupled with our deep experience with both spacecraft and on-orbit operations, Starlink delivers high-speed, low-latency internet to users all over the world."
SpaceX has launched a total of 3,612 Starlink satellites to Low Earth Orbit, of which 3,321 remain in orbit. The company plans to launch around 12,000 satellites within the next five years to build the world's most advanced internet network. SpaceX is launching Starlink satellites almost on a weekly basis with its partially reusable Falcon 9 rockets. Its new Starship that is under development will enable the company to deploy satellites at a faster rate because it is larger and set to be fully-reusable.
"Most satellite internet services come from single geostationary satellites that orbit the planet at 35,786 km [kilometers]. As a result, the round trip data time between the user and satellite—also known as latency—is high, making it nearly impossible to support streaming, online gaming, video calls or other high data rate activities," says SpaceX. "Starlink is a constellation of thousands of satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth, at about 550km, and cover the entire globe. Because Starlink satellites are in a low orbit, latency is significantly lower—around 20 ms vs 600+ ms [milliseconds]."
Starlink has demonstrated to provide reliable internet services, especially in rural and remote regions where internet service is typically unreliable or completely unavailable. Starlink has been actively assisting emergency responders and military operations in the war-torn country of Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022. Starlink has also assisted emergency responders during multiple natural disasters, including: the Kingdom of Tonga after a volcano eruption destroyed the only fibre-optic cable connecting the island to the internet; as well as assisted people after hurricanes that made landfall in the United States.
All Featured Images Source: SpaceX via Twitter / Starlink.com
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy 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.