Elon Musk on Wednesday tweeted that his aerospace company SpaceX has shipped 100,000 Starlink terminals to users in 14 countries on three different continents adding to the already existing 90,000 subscribers across the globe.
In a series of tweets, Musk also added, “Our license applications are pending in many more countries. Hoping to serve Earth soon!”.
The program has been growing stronger with every passing month. Earlier this month, Musk said to the Federal Communication Commission that the number of users of the broadband program was increasing by 20,000 a month with almost half a million orders already at hand. The latest lot was shipped to users in the US, UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand.
SpaceX had previously reported that “This Gen2 System was designed to complement the first-generation constellation SpaceX is currently deploying. While the original constellation provides unprecedented capacity for a satellite system, the demand for more broadband continues to grow unabated and the need for user connectivity has never been more important.”
Starlink, which already has around 1740 satellites, plans to add another 29,988 satellites to its “constellation.” The second-gen satellites are planned to be heavier and more capable of “additional payloads in the future,” hinting at its ability to serve the internet to companies as well.
For that many satellites to float harmlessly in orbit, the company has arranged for nine altitude layers, ranging from 340 kilometers to 614 kilometers above ground. Previously, the company had settled on using eight altitude layers from 328 kilometers to 614 kilometers.
Currently, in its Beta phase, Starlink subscriptions come at $499 which includes the user terminal, wifi router, a mounting pod, and other accessories. The monthly plan costs $99. Starlink is supposed to serve the internet in the most remote locations in the world, including the poles.
But for that, the company has to complete building its constellation. According to SpaceX, it is going to use the Superheavy rocket boosters of the Starship to launch around 400 satellites at a time.
“The revised orbital planes would enable single plane launch campaigns that capitalize on the ability of Starship to deliver satellites at a faster pace by not necessarily requiring a waiting period for orbital precession in a parking orbit. SpaceX could deploy satellites into their operational orbits within a matter of weeks after launch, rather than months,” said SpaceX during the FCC briefing.
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