- Elon Musk said Tuesday that SpaceX’s internet satellite project, Starlink, has now launched enough satellites for its public beta.
- Musk tweeted that once the most-recently launched satellites are in position, the company will roll out a “fairly wide public beta” in the northern US and southern Canada.
- The goal of Starlink is to put a constellation of satellites into orbit that can beam high-speed internet to remote parts of the Earth.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Elon Musk’s goal of beaming high-speed internet to remote parts of the Earth using orbiting satellites just got a step closer to reality.
SpaceX on Tuesday successfully launched a batch of 60 satellites, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites in orbit to more than 700, per Ars Technica. Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, said this is enough for a public beta.
“Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US & hopefully southern Canada,” he tweeted following the launch.
This beta would include the Detroit metro area and Ann Arbor, Michigan, he said, responding to a question on Twitter.
“Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval,” he added.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2020
Musk did not say exactly when the spacecraft were expected to reach their “target position,” and astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told Ars Technica that it’s possible they might not be in place until February 2021.
Musk said in April that a public beta for the service would be up and running in Fall 2020. He also said in May 2019 that a commercially viable “initial” version of Starlink’s service for the US would be possible with 400 satellites, while 800 would be enough for “significant” global