From colonizing Mars, creating Cyborgs, Boring Company Tunnel to making luxury cars, Elon Musk seems to be unstoppable. The CEO of SpaceX now plans to create a constellation of satellites orbiting the earth to provide internet at high speed globally. Last November, regarding the SpaceX satellite internet, Musk’s company had asked the FCC permissions for launching 4,425 satellites. SpaceX plans to deploy custom satellites into the low Earth orbit, promising better service than the current slow and high-latency satellite internet.
The satellite company is planning to send the craft into space by 2019. While it says that the full network will come online in 2024. SpaceX’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Patricia Cooper shared the plans of launching operations in 2019 in a senate hearing on U.S. broadband infrastructure.
Such plans of the multi-billion dollar entrepreneur are certainly exciting enough to daydream about the future with high-speed internet. But 2019 is far and the operational details are also in speculations as yet. So even though a global high-speed SpaceX satellite internet sounds interesting; it is advisable not to get super-excited about the same.
SpaceX is planning to start the testing of its internet providing satellites by the end of this year until early 2018. Once successful, the satellite company can move ahead with its plan to launch these satellites between 2019 and 2024. It intends to launch the craft at full capacity after these phases show success.
To get these satellites into the low Earth orbit, the company will use its own Falcon 9 rockets. Notably, the satellites will operate on the Ka and Ku band frequencies, as The Verge reports. Using its own Falcon 9 rockets is a significant move that will help the satellite company save costs. This plan will put 4,425 satellites into Earth’s orbit, says Cooper. She also adds that it will operate in 83 planes at low altitudes which will be around 1,110 and 1,325 kilometers.
Further Cooper says that when using a space-based network, it is not necessary for companies to install, rip-up, and re-install the cabling to provide service. On one side this plan of SpaceX satellite internet can increase the space junk. However, on the other side it can drastically improve internet facilities around the world.
SpaceX Satellite Internet Plan can Triple the Number of Satellites in Space
SpaceX also has plans to support this internet satellite network with the help of gateway stations, ground control centers, and various other Earth-based facilities. Additionally, the system updates will allow the satellite network stay up-to-speed and relevant, along with technological changes. Ars Technica reports that the speeds may be somewhere around latencies of 35ms.
On an estimate, there are around 1,459 satellites in the Earth’s orbit currently. It means SpaceX satellite internet plan will launch triple the number of satellites. This network will be able to adapt to avoiding interference with the other systems in the space clutter.
Elon Musk definitely has huge plans not only of colonizing mars, but making internet services satellite-based. It’s left to see how this materializes in the upcoming years.