Items tagged with SpaceX

SpaceX’s Starlink program has been growing exponentially in the past year, adding new customers and sending more satellites to space. Whether or not you think this is a good thing, it is impressive, nonetheless. Now, the founder and face of SpaceX, Elon Musk, has announced that Starlink will be exiting its beta phase next month. Following Elon Musk’s tweet about good feedback on Tesla’s self-driving functionality, Twitter user Overshield asked the space-mogul when Starlink would be exiting its beta. Musk wrote a curt reply, only stating “next month.” While those ten characters may not seem like much, it effectively announces a new era for Starlink, which begins in... Read more...
Slow and crummy internet connectivity is for the birds, especially today, when so much depends on fast service (online gaming, streaming movies, looking up whatever random question keeps you awake at night, and so on). Well, guess what? Faster internet connectivity is for the birds too, apparently, but in a more literal sense. Or so that's what some pigeons seem to think. Speedy connectivity is hard to come by in some rural areas, and not necessarily all the way into the boonies, either. SpaceX is attempting to remedy the situation through Starlink, a satellite internet service that, according to the latest round of speed tests, absolutely smokes rival satellite offerings. But one thing SpaceX... Read more...
Can broadband service beamed from satellite dishes rival fixed lines that run in the ground and into our homes? It is starting to look that way. As it applies to satellite internet, Starlink is leading the way with the fastest download speeds, and it is not even close. That is good news for consumers who live in remote areas, and bad news for companies like HughsNet. For anyone who is not familiar with Starlink, it is an ambitious attempt by SpaceX to send thousands of satellites into low orbit, in order to offer reasonably priced broadband service that would be available virtually everywhere. If ultimately successful, this would be a boon to people who live well outside the confines of fixed... Read more...
SpaceX's Starlink opened preorders for satellite internet services earlier this year, largely covering the northern hemisphere's higher latitudes. Since then, Elon Musk's company has continued to expand its services to more people around the world. Now, it is believed that the satellites will be able to provide continuous global coverage come September, provided regulatory approvals are granted. On Tuesday, Starlink's president Gwynne Shotwel spoke at a Macquarie Group virtual technology conference, explaining that the company has deployed roughly 1,800 satellites so far. She then stated that "once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so... Read more...
We all knew that the second-generation Tesla Roadster was going to be a performance monster aimed at crushing any potential competitor. At the time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that the Roadster would be capable of going from a standstill to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds. However, Musk confirmed this week that the electric car would be capable of nearly halving that time with an optional space-age package. A prototype Roadster is currently on display at Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, and the plaque below the vehicle reads as follows: Demonstrating the versatility of electric power and adding extra distinction to the car's already high performance, an announced SpaceX package would outfit... Read more...
In a filing with the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC), SpaceX outlined flight plans for its Starship spacecraft, which will soon commence its first orbital test flight. If all goes to plan, it will be around a 90-minute mission, with the Starship blasting off from SpaceX's Starbase facility in Texas and later splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii. There will not be any passengers on board during the test flight. As laid out to the FCC, the booster stage will separate around 170 seconds after the rocket blasts off, and perform a partial return, landing in the Gulf of Mexico around 20 miles removed from shore. The Starship will continue flying between the Florida Straits,... Read more...
Elon Musk might not have done Dogecoin any favors when he hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) over the weekend, but he's still bullish on the hot cryptocurrency. And as it turns out, it's not just Musk that is enamored with Dogecoin; SpaceX customers are also getting in on the action. Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) yesterday announced the "Doge-1 Mission To The Moon" and that it will be paid for entirely using Dogecoin. The mission involves a 40-kilogram CubeSat that will ride aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket during a mission planned for Q1 2022. According to GEC, the lunar satellite will be tasked with obtaining "lunar-spatial intelligence" using its onboard cameras and sensors. SpaceX launching... Read more...
If you are in or around Washington State, did you happen to see what looked like a meteor shower around 9 PM ET last night? If so, what you saw was not actually a meteor shower but a SpaceX Falcon 9 second stage burning up in the atmosphere. Wild, right? Late last night, many people in the pacific northwest were tweeting that they had caught a meteor shower on camera. Many of these tweets, such as @vincelavecchia’s below, include a video of the event, which looks absolutely stunning. Ummm... just caught this flying over my home in SW Portland. pic.twitter.com/CvQJwvWsyj— Vince LaVecchia (@vincelavecchia) March 26, 2021 After the hullaballoo began, National Weather Service Seattle... Read more...
He shoots, he scores? SpaceX recently successfully launched and landed their current Starship prototype, referred to as the SN10. Despite the successful flight and landing, SpaceX’s SN10 eventually exploded a few minutes later on its landing pad. The SN10 was launched from a test site in Boca Chica, Texas yesterday afternoon. This was technically the second attempt at a launch, as the first launch had been aborted. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “Launch abort on slightly conservative high thrust limit. Increasing thrust limit & recycling propellant for another flight attempt today.” The fuel from the SN10 was recycled and the rocket was prepped for the next launch. The second... Read more...
SpaceX is hoping its Starlink venture will become the first satellite constellation to not go belly-up financially, even though it anticipates a "deep chasm of negative flow over the next year or so." There is light at the other end of the tunnel, though, and getting there begins in earnest today with SpaceX opening up preorders for its satellite broadband service to the public. The ultimate goal of Starlink is to make broadband connectivity a reality in places where up to this point it has been a pipe dream. This entails sending thousands of satellites into low orbit. SpaceX has sending satellites into space on a fairly regular basis, and has so far has attracted 10,000 users in the United States... Read more...
Since the first launch in 2019, the Starlink satellite network has steadily been growing. Once it had enough satellites in Earth orbit, SpaceX introduced the beta program, which has grown immensely as well. Now, in an FCC filing to become a telecommunications carrier, Elon Musk’s company disclosed that it has 10,000 users in the United States and abroad, marking a significant stepping stone in going big with Starlink. The filing explains that “Starlink’s performance is not theoretical or experimental,” as it has “successfully demonstrated it can surpass the Commission’s 'Above Baseline' and 'Low Latency' performance tiers.” This means that the service... Read more...
High-speed internet connectivity is not quite as ubiquitous as it should be, particularly in rural areas where there just are not any options (or not any good options, anyway). Elon Musk and his merry band of SpaceX engineers are hoping to change that with Starlink, a promising satellite internet service. Wondering how things are going? SpaceX's engineers have some answers. SpaceX has launched hundreds of satellites into the heavens already, with early tests showing speeds of 134Mbps down and 15Mbps up. Those are not on par with the fastest fiber speeds, obviously, but are still fast, especially for areas where the alternative is dial-up. SpaceX has also been expanding its tests, having recently... Read more...
For people that live in rural America with limited or non-existent access to high-speed internet connectivity, the prospect of SpaceX's Starlink internet service has been an absolute blessing. As we reported over the weekend, early tests showed that users were seeing speeds of 134Mbps down and 15Mbps up. While those speeds aren't impressive to anyone that's on cable or fiber, for those that have been stuck with DSL, geostationary satellite service, or no service at all, it's absolutely mouthwatering. Today, we have even more good news, as SpaceX (and Tesla) CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Starlink will be sending "thousands" more beta participation invitations this week to lucky Americans.... Read more...
SpaceX’s StarLink Internet Beta Program began to go out to customers around October 28th, and people are starting to show off its current capabilities. Some reddit users on the Starlink subreddit have displayed pictures of their StarLink terminal and some SpeedTest information for the masses. The data being reported wholly lives up to Elon Musk’s promises and all the hype surrounding the program, and improvements are still to come. It appears that SpaceX has sent out beta invites over the entire week to test the StarLink program. Reddit user /u/FourthEchelon19 posted a picture of his Starlink terminal from out in Washington state. They reported typical speeds of around 134Mbps download... Read more...
We've been hearing a lot of about SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet beta over the past few months, and it now looks as though the company is ready to start delivering the goods to eager customers. Earlier this week, SpaceX began sending out invites to people that had previously shown interest in joining the Starlink beta.  Starlink won't come cheap, however, as according to the emails that were sent out, it will cost $99/month during the beta period. Considering that some people in metropolitan areas can get gigabit internet for that price or less, Starlink might at first seem a bit overpriced. However, Starlink isn't aimed at people that have access to traditional cable... Read more...
Microsoft Azure is blasting off to space with SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. Microsoft and Elon Musk’s company will be partnering to connect the Microsoft Azure cloud computing network to the Starlink internet service. A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced Azure Orbital, a way for satellites to connect to the cloud. With this new partnership, Azure Orbital will likely expand and provide more options for a growing satellite internet market. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and COO, said that “The collaboration that we’re announcing today will allow us to work together to deliver new offerings for both the public and the private sector to deliver connectivity through Starlink... Read more...
We are inching closer to the universal availability of high-speed Internet. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently announced that there will soon be a larger Starlink broadband public beta. SpaceX is currently waiting for its sixty recently launched satellites to reach their “target positions” before the company can launch the expanded beta. The satellites were launched earlier this week after being delayed four times due to inclement weather and other issues. Astrophysicists estimate that all the satellites will fully reach their target positions by the middle of February 2021. The larger public beta will reportedly be available in the “northern US and possibly southern Canada.”... Read more...
We can expect one small step for man and one giant leap for SpaceX and their SN8 Starship in approximately a week from now. Yesterday, Elon Musk tweeted that the SN8 Starship is being prepared for static fire tests and a flight to 60,000 feet and back. Back in August, we reported on SpaceX doing 150-meter hops with the SN5 Starship. More recently, the SN6 did a 150-meter hop test as well. These tests were powered by the SpaceX Raptor engine, which should also be used in the upcoming SN8 test. However, both previous prototypes looked more like shiny Pringles cans with a rocket motor than a proper rocket ship. With the previous tests, SpaceX’s goal was to see if the Starship's stainless-steel... Read more...
Elon Musk is making progress towards making high-speed Internet connectivity available to virtually all parts of the globe, through a network of thousands of satellites. SpaceX launched 60 more into space today, bringing the total to around 650 (towards the company's goal of around 12,000). During a webcast of the launch, SpaceX provided an update on the speeds its beta testers are seeing. Before the launch, Kate Tice, senior program reliability engineer at SpaceX, offered up some interesting commentary. Tice noted that SpaceX is well into the first phase of testing of the private beta program for Starlink, and that a public beta will roll out sometime later this year (though she did not say... Read more...
Companies such as SpaceX and Amazon are currently working to deploy large satellite constellations. These satellite constellations may help improve the availability of the Internet, but they may also provide challenges to astronomers. Astronomers recently argued that satellite constellations could “fundamentally change” how they observe and record data about the night sky.  The astronomer’s report was shared at the Satellite Constellations 1 (SATCON1) workshop. The workshop was hosted virtually from June 29th to July 1st, 2020 and the report has since been shared on the American Astronomical Society’s website. It is unclear what exact impact these satellite constellations... Read more...
Roughly a month ago, we reported that SpaceX was seeking beta testers to try out its Starlink internet service. Starlink consists of a "constellation" of over 600 micro-satellites, which are currently in orbit around the Earth. SpaceX eventually hopes to put as many as 30,000 of these micro-satellites in orbit – if it gets FCC approval -- by the time it's ready to light up its second-generation network. SpaceX now has a number of beta testers onboard with its nascent Starlink internet service, and some of those users have flocked to Ookla's Speedtest benchmark site to see how fast the service is. Roughly a dozen or so benchmark results were first discovered, but it is by no means... Read more...
SpaceX hit another milestone this week with an early prototype of its Starship rocket taking flight for the first time. The company posted a short clip to YouTube that shows the unfinished rocket light its Raptor engine and take to the sky. Eventually, later versions of the spacecraft will use multiple Raptor engines, but a single engine was all that was necessary for this test flight. The video shows ignition with smoke, flame, and dust billowing around the rocket and obscuring it shortly before the top of the shiny metal rocket emerged from the cloud and lifted upward. The rocket attained an altitude of roughly 150 meters before firing a thruster out of its right side to move it towards a landing... Read more...
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