People know SpaceX for it ambition to make space travel private but now it seems like they might become Internet providers too. They have reportedly recently asked the Federal Communication Commission for permission to launch 4 425 satellites into the Earth’s orbit. This number is actually huge. To prove a better understanding of it, we can tell you that currently, the planet has 1 419 satellites orbiting. Ok, there are some 2 600 other satellites which do not function at the moment, but still, those are a lot of satellites.
The main goal
The main purpose of those satellites which SpaceX plans to release is to provide Internet access to everyone on the planet. So, for
“residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users”.
The first phase of the project will consist in the release of 1 600 satellites. First 800, then another 800. After this step, SpaceX will be starting the service which is supposed to provide Internet for the United States, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and U.S. Virgin Islands. If it proves to be all right and fully operational, then they will be starting phase two of the project. At that point, every part of the Globe should be covered by the service.
SpaceX is planning to pace the satellites at about 690-823 miles, above the Earth. That means that they are going to float into the low-orbit, in a similar way with the weather satellites and much closer to the Earth than GPS satellites. SpaceX’s satellites will be roughly the size of a Mini Cooper car, weighing about 850 pounds.
Faster Internet speed
But this small distance from the Earth is not unintentional. By being closer to it, this system might be able to provide much faster Internet speed than any cable or fiber optic broadband speed existent at the moment. Up to one gigabit per second, according to SpaceX. That is a huge speed in comparison to what we have today, considering that the average Internet speed on earth is only 5.1 Mbps second per second. This is according to a report from Akamai. Also, according to a report from UNESCO’s Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, around 4.2 billion people (which means approximately 57% of the world’s population) do not have access to internet because of different reasons.
Others will try it too
But SpaceX is not the only company to tackle into the Internet speed business. Recently, Google’s company Alphabet tested the waters by planning to provide Internet with the help of drones or balloons. Boeing has done something similar to what SpaceX is planning, but at a much smaller scale. The company deployed about 1 400 satellites for their internet delivery project. And in 2018, the group OpenWeb is planning to launch their own system of global high-speed satellite Internet service. So it seems like SpaceX are not the only ones who can do it. But the main idea is to do it right too. If they will succeed, the world will be forever changed in what regards the speed with which will be accessing everything on the Internet. It will really be the “speed era”.
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