Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched 60 more Starlink satellites into Falcon 9 rocket to be positioned in low-Earth orbit, bringing the constellation to 788 as the aerospace company gears up for a public beta of the satellite broadband service that is expected to fit inside the budget of most users.
Falcon 9 launches 60 Starlink satellites to orbit, completing SpaceX’s 43rd flight of a previously flown rocket booster pic.twitter.com/QHPxX1sac2
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 6, 2020
The thirteenth launch was completed on Oct. 18th from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “As our Starlink network is still in its early stages, the Starlink team continues to test the system, collecting latency data and performing speed tests of the service,” the company said in a statement.
Furthermore, the company said that the team has installed Starlink terminals on the Administrative Center building, as well as at 20 private homes on the Hoh Tribe Reservation, which is located in a remote area of western Washington State.
SpaceX’s recently presented FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Starlink internet performance tests show it can deliver speeds of between 102Mbps to 103Mbps, and upload speeds of 40.5Mbps to 42Mbps, with a latency of 18 milliseconds to 19 milliseconds.
Earlier this month, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in the northern US and hopefully southern Canada.” Musk also confirmed that the company will make the public beta available in other countries as soon as they receive regulatory approval.
According to Zee News, there is a possibility that gigabit speeds will be offered. In other words, up to 1Gbps Internet speeds, paired with a relatively low latency of up to 25ms will be available. Moreover, Starlink is likely to offer these Internet services for about $80 per month, which is priced at par, if not lower than, similar speed broadband plans in multiple countries.
Starlink satellites orbit Earth at an altitude of nearly 500 km, which is closer to Earth than most conventional satellite broadband services.