SpaceX launches 60 more satellites for its Starlink service on the heels of opening up access – TechCrunch

SpaceX has launched another batch of Starlink satellites – a full complement of 60, the standard size for its current Falcon 9-based Starlink missions. This actively brings SpaceX’s total to about 1,000 revolutions, taking into account those that were experimental or have been de-orbited to date. This follows SpaceX opening orders for Starlink to anyone in an ongoing or planned coverage area.

Starlink is a global satellite-based data network operated by small, low-Earth orbit satellites. Historically, broadband satellites have been large, expensive spacecraft, positioned far ahead of Earth in a fixed orbit, serving a single coverage area. Because of their distance from Earth and the base stations they connect to, the coverage is very high-latency and relatively inconsistent (which you’ll recognize if you’ve ever tried to use WiFi on a flight, for example). SpaceX’s planetarium-based approach sees satellites much closer to Earth, which improves latency, and also involves satellites orbiting the Earth and assigning connections between each other, which in theory would have provided more consistent coverage Is – especially as the constellation increases in size.

Ultimately, SpaceX intends to provide coverage globally from StarLink, with an emphasis on providing service across regions. Coverage has been weak in the past due to grassroots infrastructure challenges. For now, however, coverage is limited, although SpaceX recently expanded its closed beta to an open one, with anyone able to sign up via the Starlink website after an address check, and for Places an order with a deposit with the full amount. Once shipped, the hardware kit must be charged.

Starlink’s hardware includes a small satellite receiver dish for installation by the customer at their service address. The service costs $ 99 per month, while equipment is $ 499 (one-time fee). This seems obvious, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently said on Twitter that the plan needs to reduce costs over time, once significant initial investment resumes. He also said that the plan is still closed Starlink and it’s finally IPO, Once the company can “reasonably predict cash flow.”