What to know about Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite venture

Elon Musk is one of the world’s richest men, and when you hear his name, you probably think of the electric vehicles’ pioneer Tesla or SpaceX, a space Exploration Company. In the later venture, the billionaire is working on satellite launches into orbit under the Starlink project. If you often see Musk’s posts on social media, you know of the global, cheap, and powerful internet connection promises from SpaceX. And this is what Starlink hopes to achieve.

Starlink’s internet provider project has been running under SpaceX for a few years. And the progress is accelerating since the start of this year. Starlink has a record of over 1,000 satellite launches in orbit for the last three years from the January reports. In February, SpaceX confirmed, Starlink services stating that it is currently serving over 10,000 customers. Now, it is working on improving the services and expanding its services to more customers.

What is Starlink? It is a project under SpaceX with a growing constellation of satellites network in orbit. It was first proposed in 2015 and kicked off prototype launches in 2018. Over the years, the project has over 1,000 satellites orbiting in space. This project aims to deliver a strong, cheap, and reliable internet connection in rural areas.

The installation process is simple since you only need a small satellite dish in your home to receive signals, and SpaceX includes a simple app for Android and iOS to help in the installation and use process. Currently, Starlink services are available in limited regions but are serving over 10,000 customers in these areas. Eventually, Elon Musk hopes to shoulder the internet crisis of the planet.

Users should expect data speed between 50 and 150 Mbps and latency between 20 and 40mls in the early stages and hope to improve with time. Musk recently tweeted, claiming that Starlink’s speed will double by the end of this year. One of its advantages is the price, the initial installation cost to get the satellite box is $499 with an additional monthly fee of $99.

Currently, Starlink is available in the northwest US, some parts of Canada, and the UK. However, the company, via their website, announced extending the coverage map with time. Elon Musk spoke to customers claiming that he expects the services to go global in 2022. Why satellites and not fiber since it is faster? Fiber is fast internet and efficient; however, its main flaw is that deploying infrastructure. It is expensive and almost impossible to get to remote areas.

One of the satellite internet downsides is bad weather and obstructions. Therefore, make sure you install your dish in an area free from snow build-ups. There are also issues with the many satellites in space and controversy in astronomy. However, SpaceX is working on ways to maintain the satellites in space without causing harm.

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