What could be one of SpaceX’s most profitable activities is selling broadband internet access to people all over the world through its Starlink satellite system. Currently, the system is undergoing experimental tests in the United States, and SpaceX is slated to launch tonight, which will put the 16th batch of satellites into orbit. The launch is currently planned at 9:56 pm in Florida and is currently listed as having a 70 percent chance of “go”.
There is a possibility that high winds at takeoff could be a potential launch delay problem. the mission It plans to put an additional 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, bringing the number to nearly 1,000. Starlink’s broadband Internet service is currently in place in some areas of the United States at this time. Early beta testers pay $ 499 for the equipment, then monthly service costs are $ 99 per month.
SpaceX has warned beta testers that there will be periodic outages and that they can expect speeds between 50 and 150 Mbps. After watching several videos posted by beta testers on YouTube, these aforementioned speeds seem accurate. The Starlink system also appears to be easy to set up and use.
The beta program is called “Starlink’s Better Than Nothing Beta.” SpaceX intends to use the money gained from selling access to a broadband service to help fund future trips to the moon and Mars. To date, the company has launched 15 Starlink missions to put enough satellites into orbit to make SpaceX the largest satellite operator by size as of November.
There has been great interest in broadband service because it will allow people anywhere on earth to connect at broadband speeds once the network is fully deployed. First responders, the Department of Defense, and many other parties are interested in the service as soon as it becomes available. If all goes well for today’s launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 is expected to land on a drone ship in the ocean.