PHOTO CREDITS: TECH EXPLORIST
According to Inverse on Tuesday, SpaceX successfully launched 60 more Starlink satellites, bringing the total to 775 Starlink satellites in orbit.
This was the third launch and landing of this Falcon 9 rocket, and the 94th Falcon 9 flight to date. This launch marks another step closer to SpaceX’s goal of providing low-latency broadband internet to the entire globe, particularly the places that are hard to reach with normal geostationary satellites.
SpaceX launched their first group of Starlink satellites on May 23, 2019, and there have been 12 more launches since. Launching around 60 satellites every time, there are expected to be 440 satellites for Starlink in the initial set. SpaceX has also been granted permission by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put 12,000 satellites into orbit over the next 8 years. Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX and Starliks, is also asking permission from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to expand by an additional 30,000 satellites, bringing the total prospective satellites to 42,000.
The goal of Starlink is to bring affordable, high-speed internet access to every human across the globe. With a total of 775 Starlink satellites in orbit now, SpaceX has confirmed that the Starlink beta testing is underway. The private beta version that was rolled out in the summer of 2020 has download speeds over 100Mbps, upload speeds of around 40.5Mbps, and is performing quite impressively (Inverse). The company is still on track to launch its public beta later this year, with more features and greater capabilities coming with future updates (EarthSky).
After this most recent launch, Elon Musk shared a post on Twitter that stated that once the satellites reach their targeted orbiting position in around 4 months, they can roll out a public beta version of the service that would cover the northern part of America and possibly some of Canada. From there, the plan would be to spread to as many other countries as possible, depending on approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
ARTICLE: JOSEPH MODICA
EDITOR: KYLE SMITH, SCIENCE EDITOR
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