Image Source: Office Chai
Thousands of satellites have been placed in orbit by Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX. Many claim to have seen them in the sky. They are a part of the Starlink project, which intends to deliver high-speed internet services from orbit to rural places on Earth.
Through a vast satellite network, Starlink offers internet access. It is intended for residents of distant places without access to high-speed internet.
In order to achieve the fastest connection speeds between the satellites and the ground, Starlink’s satellites have been placed in low-level orbits around the planet. To completely cover the planet, however, a large number of low-level satellites are required.
Since 2018, Starlink is said to have launched 3,000 of them into orbit. According to Chris Hall, editorial director of the technology website Pocket Lint, it may eventually use 10,000 or even 12,000.
He claims that bringing internet access to remote areas like mountains and deserts may be accomplished by using satellites. It avoids the need to erect a significant amount of infrastructure, such as cables and masts, to reach those locations.
Who will utilize Starlink and how much does it cost?
Starlink is expensive in comparison to other internet service providers. Customers must pay $99 per month (£89 per month in the UK). The dish and router required to connect to the satellites cost $549 (£529 in the UK). However, 96% of UK households and 90% of EU and US households already have access to high-speed internet.
The company claims to have 400,000 members in the 36 countries it now serves, the majority of whom are in North America, Europe, and Australia. Both homes and businesses make up this. Starlink’s coverage will be extended to include Asia , as well as other parts of the world with patchier internet connectivity.
Even while Starlink’s costs could be prohibitive for many African households, they could be crucial in connecting the continent’s isolated hospitals and schools.
Russian soldiers have tried to disrupt social media and shut down Ukrainian internet connections as they have advanced in Ukraine. As soon as the invasion began, Elon Musk made Starlink accessible throughout Ukraine. The nation has received approximately 15,000 sets of dishes and routers from Starlink.
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So far in the conflict, Starlink has maintained operations, including the government and public services, as Chris Hall correctly suggests. “The Russians haven’t discovered a means to disable it.”
According to Dr. Marina Miron, a defense studies researcher at Kings College London, it has also been utilized by Ukrainian forces on the battlefield, particularly in the area of communication, such as between headquarters and troops in the field.
It simply 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 thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit to provide satellite internet services.According to Sa’id Mosteshar, that will cause issues.
He claims it reduces the safety of space in terms of collisions.
There have been a number of recent near-misses with Starlink satellites, including close calls with China’s space station.
Astronomers are also having issues due to Starlink’s satellites. They may be seen with the unaided eye at sunrise and dusk due to the reflection of the sun on their wings. This may result in streaks on telescope photos, obstructing the view of stars and planets.