What is Starlink, and how will it benefit the world?


When you think of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, you probably think of his electric vehicle company Tesla, or his space exploration venture SpaceX. Perhaps you only know him as one of the world’s wealthiest people or even for his questionable dancing ability. A project of Musk’s called Starlink, which seeks to offer internet connections to practically anybody on the earth via an expanding network of private satellites floating overhead, may be less familiar to you. Here is all you need to know about Starlink satellite internet:
So, what exactly is Starlink? Starlink is the name of SpaceX’s developing network — or “constellation” — of orbital satellites. It is technically a division within SpaceX. The first prototype satellites were sent into orbit in 2018 after the network’s development began in 2015. SpaceX has launched over 1,000 Starlink satellites into orbit in the years afterward, including dozens of successful flights. SpaceX sent 60 satellites into orbit from Kennedy Space Center in January for the first Starlink mission of 2021, utilizing the landable, re-launchable Falcon 9 orbital rocket.
Starlink is expected to offer 1Gb/s download speeds once fully operational, greatly beyond the 50-150Mb/s speeds seen in the beta. Starlink’s beta can give 10x the minimal needs for HD streaming even at the slowest speeds. Furthermore, Starlink’s satellites will be in low Earth orbit, only 550 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, which is 60 times lower than current networks, drastically reducing the distance that signals must travel. With a lower orbit, latency (the time it takes for a signal to be delivered and received) is substantially reduced, with Starlink predicting about 20-40ms of latency, compared to 600ms for traditional satellites.

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  1. There are good points about political reasons as to why some areas can't get broadband. The internet is pretty much a utility nowadays. The value that it would bring to people's lives, almost unmeasurable. Besides looking up dumb shit on the internet, it's really starting to become crucial.

    People ordering their stuff online, paying bills. Remember having to go some place, stand in line or wait forever to pay over the phone or risk that shit in the mail. Internet is pretty much essential for day to day. Would be like living underneath a rock not having that connection to the world.

    The tin foil hats would have a hay-day with this one. I see both sides, but yah, it seems to be a good thing. And at those latencies, that's damn good.

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