Elon Musk’s Starlink project has been in the headlines since 2018, but users have just received an invitation to test the first beta version of this connection, which should revolutionize things as it would guarantee internet access to all residents of the United States World wherever you are.
A first version of starlink
The Starlink story began, so to speak, on Saturday, February 17, 2018, when Elon Musk decided to put the first 12 satellites into orbit. Thousands of others (around 12,000) will then be added to these first satellites to provide internet access for everyone on earth. Below is a photo of Marco Langbroek, a Dutch amateur astronomer who recorded the deployment of 60 more satellites in May 2019.
We had to wait more than two years after the first satellites were deployed for the beta version of Starlink to see the light of day. That version actually launched on October 26th, which means that the Starlink satellites started connecting users to WiFi from last Monday.
The results are not at all what expected at the moment, but it is a beta version, as the company SpaceX remembers. The users invited to use the system have also received an invitation that, with humor, says “Better than nothing” (literally “Better than nothing” in French). The connection speed is currently between 50 megabits per second and 150 megabits per second with a latency of 50 ms to 40 ms. However, the company promises that this latency will decrease significantly over the next several months, waiting for 16-19ms in 2021.
The price of the service
According to CNBC, the Starlink service costs its users $ 99 a month (which is more expensive than the average plan in the US which is $ 68), but they also need to purchase a kit first. Starts billed at $ 499, which you can see a sketch of below:
As you can see, this starter kit includes a terminal, tripod, and WiFi router.
Starlink on Mars
Even if the beta version of Starlink is difficult to start at the moment, Elon Musk is already thinking about conquering space. The entrepreneur has actually planned to conquer Mars in 2024 and recently unveiled his plans to provide Mars with an internet network that also includes the Starlink satellites.
In a recent interview with Time Magazine, SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell said:
We are not giving up on this project on Earth when we talk about developing the ability to move humanity to other planets. It’s actually about giving humanity a new chance in case there is a terrible event on earth: driving people out and saving humanity by allowing them to live on a second planet, a second earth. (…) As soon as we bring people to Mars, they need a means of communication.
Aside from this insane venture, we should remember that Elon Musk still has some projects for the future, such as creating the Hyperloop that will connect New York to Washington in just 29 minutes.