SpaceX to provide internet coverage from space by mid-2020
The company is planning to launch between six and eight Starlink satellites
SpaceX is planning to launch its broadband internet service Starlink in the United States by mid-2020, SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell told reporters.
As cited by SpaceNews, Shotwell said that the company is going to need six to eight more launches of Starlink satellites in order to ensure proper services in upper and lower latitude bands.
However, to achieve global coverage the company will still need 24 further launches. Shotwell revealed there’s a possibility that all of them could be completed by the end of 2020.
According to Shotwell, many of Starlink’s features are being tested by the US Air Force Research Laboratory.
SpaceX might offer Starlink to the US government at a later date, but for now the company, which is run by Elon Musk, wants to focus on the consumer market.
Musk first trialled Starlink internet on October 21 by posting a tweet: "Whoa, it worked," the entrepreneur wrote.
Last week SpaceX asked global regulator, the International Telecommunication Union, to approve radio frequencies to connect with an additional 30,000 Starlink satellites. Prior to that the company licensed 12,000 satellites via the US Federal Communications Commission.
The project has only had one launch so far. In May, SpaceX successfully sent 60 of its Starlink satellites into orbit.