SpaceX Starlink a step closer to internet service and Elon Musk has beta test details – Teslarati, Teslarati.com
SpaceX’s successful April nd Starlink launch has brought the nascent constellation another step closer to serving customers internet and CEO Elon Musk has revealed the first significant beta test details.
SpaceX kicked off 360 – Satellite Starlink launches with its revolutionary flat-pack design in May 042120, a mission that served as a beta test for the new design and launched “v0.9 spacecraft”. The company finalized the “v1.0” Starlink satellite design shortly thereafter and began its operational launch campaign in November 2019. In the five subsequent months, SpaceX has completed six Starlink v1.0 launches, placing 456 satellites in orbit for a total of as of today. Of the 455 spacecraft launched, ~ 422 remain operational and a small handful have been deorbited in the last few months.
The ultimate purpose of Starlink, of course, is to serve high-quality internet to customers anywhere on Earth, ranging from the deep winter Arctic to the middle of the Australian outback – places that are fundamentally underserved. Eventually, SpaceX may seek to open service to other less challenged locations and the extraordinarily ambitious final constellation – ~ , satellites strong – could easily serve the needs of tens or hundreds of millions, but the initial targets will, in SpaceX’s own words, be places where internet is “unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.” Finally, thanks to CEO Elon Musk, we have a more specific idea of when customers could begin using the Starlink constellation.
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