SpaceX Launches Its First Satellites for Project Starlink
Cernescu Andrei / 10 months ago
SpaceX wants to provide global internet.
We’ve seen some projects that want to ensure internet on a global scale before. On a smaller scale, Google’s Project Loon is making some great progress, but SpaceX is thinking really big. Seizing an opportunity with the launch of Spain’s Paz Earth-observing satellite, SpaceX has also launched two satellites of its own. We’re talking about Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, which will provide crucial data required to create a global satellite internet array. The project is known as Project Starlink, and it would operate using no less than 12,000 satellites. That’s a big number!
What’s the long-term goal for this project?
The idea is to have 4,400 satellites orbiting 700 miles above the Earth while 7,500 would orbit just 200 miles up. That kind of coverage should be able to ensure near-global coverage, at least in theory. Initial projections show that Project Starlink could have as many as 40 million users by 2025. The yearly revenue figures are nothing to sneeze at either with $30 billion coming in. There are still quite a few things to consider before the project would begin to take shape. However, with the help of Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, SpaceX is one step closer to achieving this impressive goal.
The FCC would need to be involved as well, as the company would need a license for a radio spectrum. In this regard, chairman Ajit Pai has expressed his support:
“Following a careful review of this application by our International Bureau’s excellent satellite engineering experts, I have asked my colleagues to join me in supporting this application and moving to unleash the power of satellite constellations to provide high-speed Internet to rural Americans. If adopted, it would be the first approval given to an American-based company to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies.”
What do you think about SpaceX‘s Project Starlink? Is it too ambitious for its own good, or will we eventually see global internet coverage in our lifetimes?
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