Today we’re going to change it up and talk about Starlink. Starlink is SpaceX’s satellite constellation that will use thousands of satellites in low orbit communicating with ground transceivers to bring low latency, high-speed broadband internet to customers throughout the world. SpaceX started launching Starlink satellites on February 22nd, 2018, and has worked up to 422 total satellites in orbit since then with the most recent being the 22nd of April, 2020.
As SpaceX sent its latest batch of Starlink satellites into orbit on the 22nd, SpaceX CEO and Founder Elon Musk tweeted that a private beta of Starlink will be available around 3 months from the launch and a public beta about 6 months from the launch. Elon Musk also tweeted that these tests will be available in “high latitude” locations of Canada and the United States. With satellite launches still going out and the announcement of beta tests, it looks like the current state of coronavirus lockdowns aren’t slowing down Starlinks plan to provide service across the globe by early 2022.
Not everyone has been excited about Starlink though. Once Starlink satellites started to orbit they caused a lot of concerns over the effect their bright reflection would have on space research. Because of their low orbit to earth and the link of satellites close together necessary to reduce latency the satellites leave a streak of light pollution interference nearly as bright as a meteor in research telescopes.
Elon Musk also tweeted about SpaceX’s plan to reduce the light pollution caused by Starlink satellites by creating “sunshades” for future satellites being launched along with adjusting the angle of the satellite’s solar panel.
We’re excited to see what’s to come from the private and public beta testing of Starlink this year and what’s next as SpaceX pushes the future of broadband internet connection on.
Until next time, thanks for reading and feel free to say hi on social media or the TCH-Forums!