Yesterday, Elon Musk announced that SpaceX will start testing their satellite internet service, dubbed Starlink, in a public beta in six months. SpaceX’s network is designed to achieve faster speeds by using low Earth orbit satellites. Parts of the US will be included in the beta trials, along with high altitude locations like Germany, Musk said. The first private beta trials will begin in just three months.
The first Starlink launch happened less than a year ago in which 60 prototype v0.9 satellites were brought into orbit. On April 22, SpaceX launched its seventh Starlink mission with a veteran Falcon 9 rocket and delivered 60 new Starlink internet satellites. With 420 satellites now in orbit, SpaceX has become the largest single commercial satellite operator in the world. Musk has said that at least 400 Starlink satellites are needed to start basic coverage, with 800 satellites required for “moderate” coverage. SpaceX’s goal is to launch the broadband service for the US and Canada later this year, while Starlink is scheduled to go global in 2021.
Private beta begins in ~3 months, public beta in ~6 months, starting with high latitudes
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2020