Image Source: Office Chai
The SpaceX corporation, run by Elon Musk, has been placing countless satellites into orbit. Many claim to have seen them flying over the sky. They are a part of the Starlink project, whose objective is to deliver high-speed internet services from orbit to rural areas of Earth.
A vast network of satellites is used by Starlink to deliver internet services. It is intended for those who reside in rural locations and are unable to access high-speed internet.
To ensure the quickest connection speeds between the satellites and the earth, Starlink’s satellites have been placed in low-level orbits around the planet. To completely cover the world, though, a large number of low-level satellites are required.
Starlink is believed to have launched 3,000 of these into orbit since 2018. Chris Hall, editorial director of the technology website Pocket Lint, estimates that it may eventually need 10,000 or even 20,000.
He claims that the issue of providing internet access to remote areas in mountains and deserts may be resolved by deploying satellites. It avoids the need to construct significant infrastructure, such as cables and masts, to reach those locations.
Who will utilize Starlink, and what is the price?
Starlink is expensive when compared to other internet service providers. Customers must pay $99 per month (£89 in the UK) for it. For $549 (£529 in the UK), the dish and router need to connect to the satellites. However, 96 percent of UK homes, as well as 90 percent of EU and US homes, already have high-speed internet access.
According to the corporation, it currently serves 36 countries, predominantly in North America, Europe, and Australia, with 400,000 customers. Both homes and businesses are included in this. Starlink intends to broaden its coverage in Asia, Africa, and South America, areas of the world with patchier internet access, during the course of the upcoming year.
Even though Starlink’s costs would be prohibitive for many African homes, it might be crucial for connecting hospitals and schools in rural areas.
As Russian soldiers moved farther into Ukraine, they tried to disrupt social media and shut down Ukrainian internet services. Starlink was made available in Ukraine by Elon Musk as soon as the invasion began. Starlink has sent over 15,000 sets of dishes and routers to the nation.
To this point in the war, Starlink has maintained operations, including the government and public services, as Chris Hall correctly suggests. “The Russians have not managed to disable it.”
According to Dr. Marina Miron, a defence studies researcher at Kings College London, it has also been utilized by the Ukrainian forces on the battlefield, particularly in the area of communication, such as between headquarters and men in the field.
It only takes 15 minutes to set up the kit, and unlike regular radio signals, its signals cannot be jammed.
Along with Starlink, competitors OneWeb and Viasat are launching tens of thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit to provide satellite internet services.According to Sa’id Mosteshar, this will cause issues. He claims it reduces the safety of space against crashes.
Recently, there have been a number of close encounters with Starlink satellites, including near-misses with China’s space station. “Satellites might impact other vessels and create bits of wreckage, and these, in turn, could inflict a lot more harm while traveling at high speeds.”
Astronomers are also encountering issues with Starlink’s satellites. The sun glints off their wings at sunrise and dusk, making them visible to the unaided eye. The view of stars and planets may be obscured by streaks caused by this on telescope photographs.
Opinions expressed by California Gazette contributors are their own.