As many as 2100 satellites are orbiting around the earth now. The US-based private space company – SpaceX—has launched 120 mini-satellites and planning to launch nearly 42000 more. And many other companies are planning.
The crowd in the space is for good, at least for us on the earth. We will have better internet access.
SpaceX company on Monday launched 60 mini-satellites, in addition to the 60 it had launched in May last. A Falcon-9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The satellites were initially deployed at a lower orbit – at an altitude of about 174 miles – making them more visible on Earth. But after company engineers reviewed the initial data, the satellites’ thrusters were expected to push them up to a higher orbit, reports said.
The American company’s Starlink network has permission for launching 12000 satellites already. But it is planning to seek approval for another 30,000 more. SpaceX, a company created by the entrepreneurial Elon Musk, wants to control a huge share of the future internet market from space.
But the rush for a pie in the space is going to be tough. There are more aiming for a space in the Space. London-based startup OneWeb and giant US retailer Amazon, whose Project Kuiper, are also in the line.
Musk hopes eventually to control three to five percent of the global internet market — a share valued at $30 billion a year, or 10 times what SpaceX is earning from its space launches. Musk’s ultimate goal is to finance the development of his rockets and space vessels. SpaceX’s boss entertains a long-time dream of colonizing Mars.
Its mini-satellites will orbit at relatively low altitude (550 kilometers, or 340 miles, for the first ones), allowing quick transmission times. SpaceX says its satellite constellation will be operational for Canada and the northern US by next year. It says 24 more launches will be needed to extend coverage to the entire globe.
“Enabled by a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites, Starlink will provide fast, reliable internet to populations with little or no connectivity, including those in rural communities and places where existing services are too expensive or unreliable,” the company said.