SpaceX Starlink Internet 'in aircraft feels the same as a high speed connection on the ground,' says Elon Musk

SpaceX Starlink Internet 'in aircraft feels the same as a high speed connection on the ground,' says Elon Musk

SpaceX operates the world’s largest satellite constellation. According to data by leading astronomer Jonathan McDowell, the company operates approximately 3,374 Starlink satellites in Low Earth Orbit. SpaceX plans to launch 7,500 second-generation Starlink satellites in the coming years that will enhance the broadband network’s capabilities. 

The Starlink constellation is providing internet service to over one million customers globally. It also has maritime coverage that can reliably provide internet service to moving vehicles, such as: RV’s, trains, cruise ships, and even airplanes. SpaceX is already providing Starlink internet to multiple airlines, including Hawaiian Airlines and JSX charter jet flights. The United States military is also testing Starlink service in-flight. On January 14, SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared that “Starlink in aircraft feels the same as a high speed connection on the ground,” he wrote in response to a TESMANIAN story, linked below. Read more: JSX equips half of its Jet fleet with SpaceX Starlink –‘Wi-Fi service has been met by our customers with amazement & delight,’ says CEO Alex Wilcox.

“Starlink can deliver up to 350 Mbps [Megabits per second] to each plane, enabling all passengers to access streaming-capable internet at the same time,” says SpaceX. “With latency as low as 20 ms [milliseconds], passengers can engage in activities previously not functional in flight, including video calls, online gaming, virtual private networks and other high data rate activities.” SpaceX’s website states that passengers can use the service at any altitude during flights.  

Starlink is capable of delivering high-speed internet service with low-latency because the satellites operate at lower altitudes compared to other satellite internet providers. “Most satellite internet services come from single geostationary satellites that orbit the planet at 35,786 km. 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,” explains SpaceX. Starlink satellites orbit much closer to Earth, at about 550 km in a low orbit, so latency is significantly lower at around 20 ms versus the 600+ ms of other providers. 

》Author's note: Thanks for reading If you have any story suggestions or feedback, feel free to Direct Message me on Twitter: Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo @JaneidyEve Or write your thoughts in the comment section below. Read my most recent stories here: Recent News Stories 《  

Featured Image Source: Photo by Cameron Casey via Pexels

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

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.

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