After shaking up the economy of the car and rocket launch industries, Elon Musk now takes an ax to another frayed business model – space communications – by filling the skies with thousands of satellites that transmit the internet to isolated populations.
Elon Musk recently revealed details on how people will access StarLink. It will be incredibly simple and it will allow access to the global internet relatively free from anywhere on the planet.
1,000 satellites will be enough to enable basic service, Musk has said. As of today, about 1,300 satellites have been launched and are orbiting the Earth.
“Starlink Terminal has motors to self-adjust optimal angle to view sky. Instructions are simply: plug in socket, point at sky. These instructions work in either order. No training required.” Musk said.
Broadband from space already exists, but it relies on geostationary satellites that orbit more than 22,200 miles from Earth, making connections too slow to effectively compete with new applications on terrestrial networks. In contrast, Musk’s are at an altitude of 340 miles, putting his system at a potential speed advantage over the fastest submarine fiber networks.
While Musk has applied for launch permission for up to 42,000 satellites, he’s unlikely to launch them all.
Elon Musk is all about inventing groundbreaking projects that have the potential to change the world. If this project is successful, the whole world, even the most remote parts, will have fast and free WiFi access at all times!