Elon Musk announced the Starlink satellite internet project in 2015.
Through this project Musk hopes to launch a fleet of low orbiting satellites around Earth that would provide internet connectivity to any place on earth.
“Starlink is ideally suited for areas of the globe where connectivity has typically been a challenge,” Starlink’s website says.
The project was supposed to become a reality by 2021 and opened to public, however, the launches of several satellites were delayed due the ongoing pandemic and other reasons.
The entire project is said to burn cash $10 billion.
Musk has plans to send over thousands of mini satellites to Earth’s lower orbit, in order for them to transmit signals to earth thus ensuring people down here can virtually have access to internet from anywhere.
The United States Federal Communications Commission has given their consent to launch as many as 12,000 starlink satellites. The firm was granted $850 million by the commission to provide internet services in the rural areas of the United States.
The satellite is very small which has a flat body, four antennas and weighs about 260 kilograms. These satellites are being launched with the help of Falcon 9 rockets.
Nearly 60 satellites can fit in a single rocket. And they are powered with ion thrusters which gives them a higher longevity.
The download speed is said to be 1Gbps with a latency period of 25 milliseconds to 35 milliseconds.
However beta tests supposedly recorded a speed of just 50Mbps to 150Mbps with a latency period ranging from 20 milliseconds to 40 milliseconds.
Fiber internet connections are supposedly way more faster than Starlink. But this hasn’t stopped Space X from continuously working on improving its speed.
COST OF STARTLINK INTERNET SERVICE
The Starlink internet service is said to cost nearly $100 per month for a basic plan. The ground hardware, which is a once in a lifetime cost is roughly $499.
In 2018 a set of test satellites were launched, subsequently 2019 saw the launch of the very first batch of 60 satellites and many more were sent through the years.
Spaceflightnow.com reported that, presently 1,737 satellites have been sent out of them only a little 1600 are operating in full capacity.
Several astronomers have raised their concerns over the brightness of the satellites and night sky visibility.
“We do not yet understand the impact of thousands of these visible satellites scattered across the night sky and despite their good intentions, these satellite constellations may threaten both,” the International Astronomical Union said.
Several internet service providers might be forced to churn down their prices and improve their download speed in order to retain and attract new consumers.