SpaceX is eyeing a mid-2020 launch date for the company’s satellite-powered internet service, Starlink.
On Tuesday, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell mentioned the launch date for the US market, during a media roundtable, according(Opens in a new window) to SpaceNews. The company’s goal is to launch six to eight additional batches of satellites over the next months so that the broadband service has sufficient coverage.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk demoed the technology on Monday night. “Sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite,” he said over Twitter, which was followed by another tweet that said: “Whoa, it worked!!”
Whoa, it worked!!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 22, 2019(Opens in a new window)
To send out the tweet, SpaceX has set up a Starlink terminal in Musk’s home, according to Shotwell. Months prior in May, the company also sent up(Opens in a new window) the first 60 satellites to power the Starlink network.
The company is still ironing out how much Starlink will cost to consumers. But the plan is to provide a satellite link up terminal that customers can easily place in their homes. In total, the company will also need to make 24 launches to get enough satellites in orbit so that Starlink(Opens in a new window) can achieve global coverage, Shotwell added.
The low-orbit satellite network, which will fly at 550 kilometers above the Earth, promises to offer customers high-speed broadband at affordable rates, anywhere across the world. Expect speeds to reach up to 1 Gbps per user with a latency ranging between 25 to 35 milliseconds, on par with ground-based broadband services.
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SpaceX isn’t the only player in the next-generation satellite internet market, but the company is working with world regulators to clear the way to send as many as 42,000 satellites to power the upcoming broadband network.
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