Starlink Overview Updated January 20, 2021

Starlink

"High-speed internet access across the globe"

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24 'Starlink' stories

March 2020 - January 2021


Starlink is a high-speed satellite internet company that was launched by SpaceX in 2019 when the first batch of 60 operational satellites was launched into orbit. In October 2020, SpaceX began rolling out a public beta of the Starlink service, which the company claims will include “near-global coverage of the populated world in 2021.” 

Each Starlink satellite weighs about 500 pounds and is about the size of the average dinner table. At the time of writing this (January 20, 2021), SpaceX has launched over 1,000 of these satellites into orbit around the Earth with plans to have 30,000 in the constellation eventually. 

The Starlink service works by beaming information through the vacuum of space directly to individual user terminals down on Earth. This internet delivery method is much more efficient as the information travels through space almost 50% quicker than via fiber-optic cable. 

For the public beta of the service, customers pay a $499 upfront costs, which includes the Starlink starter kit that consists of all of the necessary hardware. Customers must also pay a $99 monthly fee to use the service. Speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s with latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations. 

 

 

Starlink Stories January 20

Since October, SpaceX has been slowly rolling out public beta access to its Starlink internet service, and the latest countries to get access are the UK and Canada. People who live in those countries can now sign up for the public beta and have a Starlink user terminal shipped to them.

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SpaceX successfully launched its latest Starlink mission today while setting a new record for reusing a Falcon 9 first stage booster. Starlink is SpaceX’s growing satellite internet service, and SpaceX uses these missions to deploy up to 60 of its own satellites into orbit as test beds for pushing booster re-flight records.

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Starlink Stories January 5

SpaceX Starlink beta invites have been rolling out in the UK

SpaceX has been adding new locations to its Starlink beta program at a rapid pace. A few weeks ago, the UK became the latest country to begin receiving beta invites for the satellite broadband service, with some users already receiving the necessary hardware.

Starlink Stories December 22, 2020

SpaceX is rapidly sending batches of internet satellites to orbit as the company builds its Starlink broadband service. With over 900 operational satellites already in space, Starlink internet service reached public beta in October. Service is expected to reach many more markets over the next year, and a massive FCC investment will certainly help speed up the rollout.

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Starlink Stories December 8, 2020

Starlink will be available in Greece in early 2021

It is being reported that SpaceX’s Starlink service will be rolling out to Greece in the first quarter of 2021. The report claims that the company has already contacted the Hellenic Telecommunications and Posts Commission (EETT) to acquire the necessary licenses to operate in the country.

Starlink Stories December 7, 2020

Recently it was revealed that Starlink user terminals were costing SpaceX much more to manufacture than what they were selling for. So naturally, people have been curious about what the expensive internals of the device consists of. That’s precisely what an engineer by the name of Ken Keiter set out to discover.

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On February 7, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). This fund would allow broadband companies to win bids, ultimately funding the United States’ expansion of coverage. Today, SpaceX won some of those bids to expand its Starlink coverage.

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Starlink Stories December 3, 2020

SpaceX tends to avoid patenting its technology out of concern that China could use the legal filings as blueprints to copy and paste. Elon Musk provided this explanation to Wired in 2012:

We have essentially no patents in SpaceX. Our primary long-term competition is in China — if we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book. 

The major exception for the space exploration company is Starlink, SpaceX’s developing broadband internet service that relies on satellites deployed on Falcon 9 rockets.

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Starlink Stories November 25, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, it was discovered that SpaceX was likely paying much more to manufacture Starlink user terminals than it was charging users. Now, it looks like Business Insider has confirmed this assumption.

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SpaceX successfully launched and deployed 60 internet satellites into orbit on Tuesday night from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The 16th Starlink mission adds to SpaceX’s growing constellation of internet satellites already powering its broadband service in parts of the US and Canada.

SpaceX also hit a number of milestones with its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch this week:

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