What is Starlink?

Starlink is a satellite Internet, an ambitious project of the American company Space X. Its main goal is to provide the entire planet with uninterrupted high-speed broadband Internet using a global satellite system. First of all, access to the novelty is planned to provide residents of such places, where the connection is unreliable or even absent.

In total, the company plans to launch 42 thousand small satellites within the project. In total, the implementation of Starlink will require about $ 10 billion. In this case, according to Elon Musk, about 30 to 50 billion more will have to be spent every year to replace satellites, since their lifetime is a maximum of five years.

The Starlink project

The project was launched seven years ago, in 2015.

Musk said that the future satellite system would almost completely cover our entire planet and could provide up to 50% of the world’s Internet bandwidth. And just three years after this promising presentation, test launches of the Tintin-A and Tintin-B satellites were carried out to test the communication systems. They will not be involved in the future fate of the system.

The next launch took place in May 2019, also in test mode. At that time, Space X had sent about 60 of the first pre-production satellites of the Global Internet system to Low Earth Orbit. An interesting point: these satellites were not yet able to communicate with each other, but were already equipped with special antennas for communication with the Earth.
In September 2020, according to Space X, during beta testing, they demonstrated extremely low signal latency and download speeds of more than 100 Mbps.

Starlink Satellite Internet

Starlink technology

Instead of sending a few satellites in a so-called geostationary orbit (the height of ca. 35,000 kilometers from the surface of the Earth) Space X intends to withdraw tens of thousands of small satellites in Low Earth orbit (a height of about 500 kilometers from the surface of our planet). Thus, will be provided with a continuous communication not only with each other but also with the Earth itself. In addition, the satellites will be in constant motion.

As for their equipment, Starlink satellites are equipped with special electrostatic thrusters, thanks to which they can ascend into orbit, maneuver, and at the end of their service life they can also be removed from service without any problems. In addition, each satellite features a solar array, phased antenna arrays, and star orientation sensors.

Features of Starlink

The Starlink system itself will not communicate on a satellite-to-phone basis. Communication will be transmitted via small user terminals, also equipped with phased antennas and capable of tracking the movement of satellites in orbit.

The cost of connecting Starlink

To date, connect to the system can only residents of the U.S. and Canada as part of the public testing, which started at the end of October 2020. Special equipment can be purchased for $499, with a monthly fee for the use of communication will be $ 99. Internet speeds will range from 50 to 150 Mbps.


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