Starlink celebrates a new milestone for this internet project, Elon Musk’s constellation now has 1,800 satellites and 100,000 customers before reaching the entire world.
Starlink, Elon Musk’s satellite internet network, is celebrating reaching 1,800 satellites in orbit. The space company achieves this milestone while setting its next destinations before deploying the service worldwide. In some countries, it has been available for booking since the beginning of the year.
Musk once again resorts to Twitter to make the announcement, they have sent 100,000 internet terminals to connect their customers with Starlink satellites traveling in Earth orbit. So far, they have deployed this business in 14 regions since launching the first satellites into space two years ago.
Currently, the Starlink constellation, which promises to bring the internet to any part of the world, is made up of almost 1,800 satellites. A small figure when compared to the 42,000 that SpaceX, Starlink’s sister company in charge of the launches, plans to put into low Earth orbit in the coming years.
Targeting a global internet
The price of the service exceeds $585. That is the initial price the customer must pay to receive the hardware to connect to the satellite constellation. The kit includes a circular antenna with the tripod, a router, and the necessary cabling. Then it is necessary to pay $70 for shipping and later $116 per month for the connection.
100k terminals shipped!https://t.co/Q1VvqVmJ2i
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2021
The reservation was opened at the beginning of the year when the test period began in several countries outside the United States. Months later, Musk himself stated in a video conference at the Mobile World Congress technology fair, held in June in Barcelona, that the goal is to launch the service globally this August.
For the moment, this international deployment has not been announced, but that does not prevent Starlink from continuing its course to create the largest satellite constellation in history. A project that could even provide internet to airplanes and passengers who would have WiFi on their way to their vacations thanks to SpaceX satellites.
What is Starlink?
Apart from the rockets for NASA that SpaceX designs and manufactures, Elon Musk’s space company has another major project. Starlink was born promising to bring high-speed internet connection to any corner of the world through a mega constellation of satellites.
This is the first attempt to achieve this goal on such a large scale. To do this, a good number of satellites are required, specifically 42,000. SpaceX’s reusable rockets, the Falcon 9, are responsible for carrying all these small satellites into orbit.
The orbit chosen is about 440 kilometers above the Earth. The network seeks to propagate electromagnetic waves through the vacuum to achieve higher speeds than any terrestrial fiber-optic connection. The Tesla and SpaceX magnate promises with this project an internet connection as fast or faster than fiber.
This constellation of satellites is also a nighttime spectacle (much to the chagrin of astronomers). They can be seen from Earth and many people follow the website See a Satellite Tonight, created by James Darpinian, to find out their path and locate them in the starry sky. By indicating the location, the page shows the satellites that will be seen in the area in a period of 5 days. Starlink satellites can be seen, but this tool also helps to see many more elements at night.