SpaceX's Satellite Internet Teases Sending Out Invites for Public Beta Tests

James Marshall
June 16, 2020

The Starlink satellites, built at SpaceX's facilities in Redmond, Wash., will join about 480 previously launched spacecraft in a constellation created to provide broadband internet access.

While it is the ninth launch of Starlink satellites, it is the first to include satellites from multiple companies - the first-ever Rideshare launch, part of a series that will help bring satellites from companies like Planet Labs, Exolaunch and Momentus Space into Earth orbit.

The company's website for Starlink has been updated with a new email newsletter, which promises to send out news and promotions regarding the satellite broadband network. Each Starlink satellite weighs about 250kg, which is significantly lighter than even the smallest hatchback vehicle out there, and each satellite has 4 powerful phased array antennas.

The firm aims to have more than 1,000 satellites in orbit by the end of the year and has also been approved by the FCC to launch over 12,000 in total. That means there are now 540 Starlink satellites in orbit. SpaceX originally announced plans to create the Starlink network in 2015, with plans to carry up to 50% of all backhaul communications traffic and up to 10% of local internet traffic.

SpaceX launches 58 more Starlink satellites and 3 Planet Skysats for first rideshare launch
SpaceX's Satellite Internet Teases Sending Out Invites for Public Beta Tests

"More than 85% of this system will operate at very low altitudes below 400 km, using eight total orbital altitudes ranging from 328 km to 614 km".

SpaceX now has 480 satellites but no consumer services as of yet, and it has exactly a month to submit an application for the auction.

Musk's plan is to girdle the Earth with tens of thousands of broadband-friendly high-speed satellites. "If you provided us with your zip code, you will be notified via email if beta testing opportunities become available in your area".

'In the meantime, we will continue to share with you updates about general service availability and upcoming Starlink launches'. The wait may just be worth it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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