The Starlink project has just launched its ninth mission, consisting of 58 satellites, yesterday on June 13th. So far, a total of 482 of Starlink satellites have been put in orbit. This is a small portion of the total of 12,000 satellites that the company aims to launch.
Starlink is SpaceX’s mission to provide high-speed internet in every part of the world, including (and especially) the remote areas that usually receive poor broadband service. The revenue collected from this will be pumped into the company’s other project, the Starship.
Starlink is also making progress on the customer service front as it recently updated its website with an email feature. You can sign up for updates on Starlink availability in your area by providing your email, postal code, and country. Some consumers will also be able to access the best test of Starlink’s internet services. The website update happened a day before the June 13th launch.
As soon as you sign up to be notified, you will receive a mail from Starlink which says that it “is designed to deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable. Private beta testing is expected to begin later this summer, followed by public beta testing, starting with higher latitudes.”
The company told the FCC that Starlink’s services will first be available in northern America and southern Canada by the end of 2020. By 2021, the service would be available globally. We can expect the internet speed to compete with that of current internet service providers. Elon Musk even declared that the network’s latency will be below 20 milliseconds so “somebody could play a fast-response video game at a competitive level.”
In addition to launching satellites into space, the company will also have to finish some on-ground work to make the services accessible. This includes building a vast network of ground stations and user terminals that will be provided to consumers.
Gwynne Shotwell, the President of SpaceX, said in 2018 that the project will cost the company $10 billion or more. The company was able to fund a portion of the mission by raising $1.7 billion since early 2019.