Elon Musk is on a roll this year. SpaceX project Starlink is about to be launched. Elon Musk is ready to provide the world with satellite-based internet. It might sound like a crazy idea of a billionaire but this might be the future of the internet. SpaceX has been working on this project since 2015. Experts are calling it a game-changer in the world of connectivity. Internet consumers have been anticipating it for a long time and this year seems to be like the year of StarLink.
What is Startlink
Starlink is a sub project of SpaceX. This is a company dealing with spaceflight missions to provide the internet through satellites. Starlink started its work to evolve the concept in 2015. In 2018 they were able to send the first prototype of the mission to space. That prototype was a success. Since that success in the coming years Starlink has sent around 1000 satellites. These satellites were sent during twenty successful launches.
At the start of this year, Starlink used a Falcon 9 orbit rocket to launch 60 SpaceX satellites in orbit. In february 4 more launches were scheduled at the same time. 2 out of 4 launches have been done already. These two were also successful like the january ones.
Total number of launches uptil now is over one thousand which are already part of the orbit.
Would it work at your home
Well this is the core of the whole project. Making one internet available for everybody in the world. There are already existing internet satellites too in orbit, for example ViaSat and HughesNet. StarLink has a mission to make the internet reach possible in the backward or rural areas. These are the areas where the internet is still not a basic necessity because of unavailability or extremely low speed. StarLink aims to add these connectivity deprived areas on the map of broadband internet.
According to StarLink, this project is designed to expand the reach of broadband to the area where internet connection is still an issue in this age. Startlink won’t be depending on the underground fiber optics which have their own challenges and limitations.
So now comes the part of how you can have the service of StarLink. You have to go a little old school and fix a satellite dish somewhere in your home. The dish will be the source of signals in your house. Next comes the router to spread the signals. They have already launched apps for android and iphone users. Apps will also be helpful in using the internet. Starlink is not too widely available yet. However, Starlink has claimed the over ten thousand consumers have already bought their facility.
Here is the best part of the whole service. Everyone who is frustrated by their internet’s constant weak signal and low speed can rely on StarLink. The estimated internet speed given by StarLink is fifty to 150mbs\sec. The latency is expected to be from twenty to forty ms (milliseconds) which is very good. The website of StarLink does have a disclaimer that you might not get internet at all for very little period of time. The reason being the launch of more satellites. But the website also says that every launch will enhance the data speed excellently.
Pricing of Starlink Subscription
As mentioned before, StarLink claims to have already ten thousand customers on board. So, the prices are decided. Though it is in its beta testing yet. In the beginning, the customer has to pay around 500 dollar for the equipment to locate at home which includes a router and a satellite dish. Monthly fee will be 99 dollars which is exclusive of taxes. The service is also taking preorders. But these orders can take more than 6 months to carry through because of the extensive process.
Availability of Startlink
As we all know StarLink is America based, The service is also limited to some areas of America for now. Besides the company’s home country they are running the beta testing program in some parts of Canada which are adjoining to the USA as well as some parts of the United Kingdom.
Company has over ten thousand satellites in orbit and with this number they can’t claim that they can cover the whole world. To provide service to the whole globe they need to have at least ten thousand satellites circling the orbit.
Does World Need a Satellite internet
The Internet is available through the underground fiber optic to most of the globe right now. As fast as this internet, its reach is very slow. And it is not even possible to dig up some places to lay down cable. So, as speed is an advantage of optic fibres they have their own restrictions. A satellite based internet does not have any limitation. Its services can be provided anywhere on the globe. It will be affected by the weather and speed is not as much as the ground based internet but nevertheless it will be available.
As SpaceX is running a Mars mission, According to Elon Musk this whenever humans go and live on Mars, StarLink will be their connection to the earth.
Drawbacks of StarLink
StarLink has some shortcomings. These aremostly related to the already endangered environment. When the earliest of the satellites of StarLink were launched in space, they could be visibly seen from the earth because of the brightness.The reason for the bright light is these satellites are much closer to earth than conventional satellites already orbiting the earth.
Experts say they don’t know all the implications of these thousands of man made satellites revolving around the world but they definitely have an impact on the wild life which stays up at night. These animals use stars for the way and light and presence of these satellites can be a danger for them. As per StarLink, they are working on the brightness of satellites.