SpaceX's emerging Internet satellite constellation already offers some boutique services, according to Elon Musk.
Late yesterday (October 21), SpaceX's billionaire founder and CEO said via Twitter that he was trying to post something via Starlink, the circular network the company began to put together this year. And two minutes later he tweeted the result : "Whoa, it works !!"
That's quite a thing, considering that Starlink is just a shell of the imagined future self. SpaceX has approved launching around 12,000 Starlink satellites and recently applied for permission to loft up to 30,000 more . But the company has launched just 60 of the vessel so far, all of which cycled to orbit last May aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
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Who, it worked !! October 22, 2019
Several such launches will be needed before Starlink can beam data to the rest of us. SpaceX needs about 400 Starlink vessels to provide "less" coverage and 800 for "moderate" coverage, Musk said earlier this year .
SpaceX is not the only company with internet satellite plans. Amazon aims to launch more than 3,000 broadband vehicles of its own, and OneWeb launched the first six satellites into a 650-strong constellation earlier this year.
These networks will fundamentally change the earth's orbiting population. Only about 2,000 operating satellites are currently orbiting our planet, and fewer than 9,000 have been launched since the beginning of space-time in 1957.
Some astronomers have expressed concern that the upcoming broadband satellites will affect their observations of cosmic objects . And other space stakeholders have emphasized that we need to think hard about ways to mitigate the potential space junk threat posed by these mega constellations, and the many small satellites that are rising now, thanks to a dramatic drop in space access costs.  Mike Wall's book on the quest for alien life, " Out There " (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate ) is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .