Starlink Satellite Viewing

Image of starlink



When you think of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, his latest stint from his electric car company Tesla, his space exploration company SpaceX or you may know him as one of the richest men on earth. What you may not know much about him is his initiative called Starlink, which sells Internet connections to almost anyone on the planet, which orbits upwards via a growing network of private satellites. Lets see how does the Starlink works and the speed of the internet connection in this article clearly. 


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What Is Starlink:


Starlink Logo

Starlink is a network of orbital satellites which is the expansive constellation from Musk and SpaceX. Its aim is to bring the world with low latency high speed internet, promising no more buffering and enable almost anyone anywhere on the planet to have access to a broadband internet connection. The development of starlink began in 2015 when Elon Musk stated there was an unmet demand for low cost global broadband and capabilities. 

The first prototype satellite were launched into orbit in 2018. By January of 2021 after about 20 launches spanning three years Starlink had over 1000 satellites in orbit and it now serves more than 10000 customers who are its beta testing program. And by May of  2021 Starlink had received over 500000 orders so it is clear that there is indeed demand. SpaceX can build 120 satellites per month and planning to release 42000 satellites by 2027.


How Fast Will Starlink Internet Be:

Starlink is delivering beta test service throughout the world and will expand their coverage further more globally.  During beta testing users can expect 50mbps to 150mbps speed and latency of 20ms to 40ms. As months passes we can expect more speed as they will enhance Starlink system by launching more satellites, installing more ground stations, improving their networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve drastically. 

Latency is the time taken to send data from one point to another. When the satellites are far away from the earth, the delay is high, resulting in low performance of functions such as video calls and online gaming. Starlink satellites expect to show good latency than traditional satellite as it is 60 times closer to earth than others, resulting in lower latency and the ability to support services that are generally not possible with traditional satellite Internet. Starlink is suited for the areas where connectivity is unreliable or unavailable.

Starlink Vs 5G:


5G vs Starlink


When you look at the comparison between Starlink and 5G, of course 5G speeds are higher than Starlink. But there is still a drawback, i.e. the mm wave of 5G covers only short distances and requires more towers to cover even a short distance.  A lot of money has to be invested to equip such towers.  When it comes to Starlink, it covers the whole world, as said before, because it provides the Internet via satellites.  According to the plan, the internet speed is likely to increase once all the satellite is launched.  So, I can say that Starlink is much better than 5G when it comes to coverage, but 5G is better now when it comes to speed, which may change in the future.

Drawbacks of Starlink:


Only 3.5% of Starlink satellites has been launched and astronomers are already voicing serious concerns about the brightness of the Starlink mega constellation. Initially Musk said that the satellites wouldn't be visible once they are in the final position but recent observations by astronomers has shown that some of them are visible even without a telescope and they claim that the number of visible satellites will even outnumber visible stars, that means especially in areas with low light pollution and clean night sky Starlink satellites could become an integral part of the view let alone the problem that 42000 satellites will pose for scientific observations. Starlink responded to the criticism by promising to work on the brightness issue. They want to fix the problem by changing the angle of the satellite solar panels and developing a kind of sunshade for them whatever that might look like. 

But there is also another problem space junk, over 100 million bits of junk surround Earth from abandoned satellites to spacecraft that combat and other space mission. Each piece of debris no matter how small travels at speeds high enough to inflict catastrophic damage to vital equipment a single hit could be deadly to astronauts on a spacecraft. The worse scenario would be that earth could end up being surrounded by a layer of debris that makes it impossible for any spacecraft to pass through.  

Satellites Appears on the sky
Satellites Appears On The Sky
                              

Starlink Reaction On Their Drawbacks:


SpaceX went to research to solve this problem, and they found a solution to eliminate these shortcomings. They make the satellites generally invisible to the naked eye. They do this by changing the way the satellites fly to their operational altitudes, so that they fly with the satellite knife edge to the sun. Since it is a software change they are working to implement as soon as possible.

Also they minimizing the Starlink's  impact on astronomy by darkening satellites so they don't saturate observatory detectors. Soon they will solve all other shortcomings and provide a stable internet around the world without harming nature.

Currently Starlink can be pre register and can be join in beta testing. Its cost for pre registration is $99(Rs 7400) and can register in Starlink website. Its price for pre-registration is $ 99 (Rs. 7400) and can be booked on the Starlink website (Click Here). They have said that Starlink will be available in India by 2022 and they are in the process of launching their products in India.

                               Counterattack of starlink over its shortcomings




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