The launch of a new fleet of communication satellites is almost always met with positive reception. After all, we are in an age where access to high-speed internet and other advanced connectivity solutions is vital for businesses and individuals. These satellites are known as the “Starlink” constellation and can potentially change our world significantly.
They are known as the ‘Starlink Satellite train’ due to their resemblance to a ‘train of light’ or a ‘chain of bright dots’ when seen from the ground. But what exactly is the Starlink satellite network, and how will it impact us? Read on to find out more!
What is the Starlink Satellite Network?
Large-scale satellite network Starlink intends to deliver high-speed Internet service to even the planet’s most remote regions. SpaceX, a firm owned by Elon Musk, has been creating it since 2019.
Several satellites are launched at once into orbit. Currently, 775 solar-powered satellites are orbiting the Earth after 13 batches of spacecraft launched into space. SpaceX intends to eventually create a large constellation of 12,000 satellites, potentially increasing to 42,000 in the future.
How does Starlink Satellite work?
The orbits of Starlink satellites are substantially lower than those of conventional satellites; they are only around 340 miles (550 kilometers) above the surface. 60 Starlink satellites are deployed by a Falcon 9 launch vehicle into an initial “parking orbit” at 270 miles (440 kilometers) above Earth.
After unfolding their solar panels, the individual satellites spread out progressively over the planet. Each satellite also uses its thrusters to gradually raise its own altitude as it ascends into its ultimate orbit, which is around 100 miles (160 km) above the orbit of the International Space Station. As they ascend, the satellites become darker and reflect less sunlight back toward Earth.
Of course, Starlink’s satellites, also known as smallsats, are significantly smaller than regular satellites and weigh only 550 pounds (250 kilograms) each. Customers who want to use Starlink’s internet service must also buy a ground-based antenna.
How Will Starlink Change Our World?
- Starlink aims to make the internet accessible to the rural and low connectivity regions of different nations, thus bringing together the 2.5B people lacking internet services as of 2020.
- These internet services can be accessed by any individual from anywhere on the globe. Although, customers will need to purchase a small omnidirectional transceiver when subscribing.
- Starlink may act as a catalyst to spark conflict or even revolution in nations whose citizens cannot currently access the internet without limitations. One prime example is China.
- It will significantly help boaters who often tend to lose their way due to poor network connection, or the large cruise ships can now readily offer better internet services to their sailors.
- It promotes the nomadic lifestyle for people who love wanderlust or the remote workers who like to travel while they work.
- What is the purpose of the Starlink satellite train?
Starlink works to provide global broadband coverage through satellites to 40 countries.
- Is Starlink faster than Fiber?
The speed offered by a fiber network is unmatched, and Starlink has a long way to go to be faster than that.
- Will Starlink be free?
Starlink has a paid subscription fee of $110 per month and a one-time equipment fee of $599.
- Does Starlink work during Storms?
Satellite internet services are prone to bad weather. Starline performs well even during weather interruptions as the data travels a distance to and from a satellite.
- Does Starlink have phone service?
Starlink has phone service and can be suitable for texts and voice calls but not on high bandwidth.
- What equipment do you need for Starlink?
Starlink users will be required to purchase one-time equipment consisting of a satellite dish and a wifi router.
- Is Starlink unlimited data?
Starlink stands out from its competitors due to its unique unlimited data feature.
Starlink has the potential to bring massive changes but has a long way to go. Competitors are trying to lock in other orbital altitudes to hold a position to compete with Starlink. We are enjoying the light glazing from the country’s rural regions and expecting to see a Starlink future.