SpaceX, the company that previously brought us reusable rockets and planned to colonize Mars, has big dreams for a new kind of satellite service called Starlink. Elon Musk’s goal is to provide people a connection from space. The mega-constellation of flying routers could drape almost the entire planet in an invisible blanket providing the bandwidth for all internet needs.
The company has begun launching its Starlink satellites in batches of about 60 at a time from May 2019. The metal birds are much smaller than the large telecommunications satellite currently used, and orbit Earth from only 550 kilometers above ground level. This allows for low latency-time connections to be provided anywhere on Earth.
The Starlink app for iOS and Android is the perfect solution for any customer looking for a simple way of discovering their ideal location with augmented reality. The satellite dish can simply be set up at home.
Starlink’s service is only available in select regions of the US, Canada, and abroad at this point, but it has thousands of customers already! As more spacecraft make their way into its constellation around our planet – which they plan will eventually cover every inch of landmass on Earth.
Starlink is now accepting pre-orders from customers who are interested in joining. The cost of this service starts at $99 per month and requires an initial payment for a mountable satellite dish and router to install it; taxes or fees are then applied according to your location.
The project that started as an idea decades ago has finally been launched and seems to be taking off. In January 2021, after a successful three years of launches, Starlink passed 1,000 satellites delivered into orbit – now, in June, they have surpassed their goal at over 1800!
More than just bringing internet access to places where it isn’t available today via data centers on Earth’s surface, SpaceX is looking towards expanding its service even further by offering pre-orders for people who don’t yet qualify but would like to get involved.
Elon Musk has bought this new satellite network to provide broadband service for 5% of the world’s population where conventional fiber and wireless networks can’t reach.
Elon Musk says that to maintain Starlink’s competitive position, $20 or even $30 billion may be needed in the long term. With more than 69,000 active users and a predicted rise at an unprecedented rate, this service has been doing well for itself so far.
“We are on our way to having a few hundred thousand users, possibly over 500,000 users within 12 months,” Musk said.