Elon Musk Now Controls Third Of All Active Satellites
SpaceX has had a focus on launching satellites as part of its emerging internet service, and owner Elon Musk now controls around a third of all active satellites.
As part of the Starlink programme, SpaceX is launching hundreds of satellites that will provide fast internet across the world. The company has now passed a milestone of 1,000 active satellites, and this means that Elon Musk controls a third of all the orbiting technology up in the sky.
60 additional satellites were sent up to space this week, as part of a continued effort to grow the coverage of the Starlink programme.
The company is already reaching 10,000 customers but intends to build on this further. The ambitious goal for SpaceX is to send more than 40,000 satellites into orbit and provide internet across the globe. Off the back of this intended growth, the groundbreaking, low-latency, space-based internet service intends to reduce costs as it covers more ground.
If Musk and SpaceX manage to continue its frequent launching schedule, then Musk could own one-half of all spacecraft orbiting Earth by 2022. While this is incredibly impressive, it will raise questions about possible satellite monopolies and how competition could develop if SpaceX manages to get a head start. After all, Musk has already stated SpaceX ‘will make it’s own laws’ on Mars and many will hope that this viewpoint doesn’t extend to the orbit of the Earth.
Despite concerns about the growing number of satellites owned by SpaceX, the Starlink programme has already begun helping people in rural areas. Starlink has provided high-speed internet to native Americans who struggled to get any internet connection. It is hoped that by providing better internet through satellites, rural communities can have better access to the information it provides.
Starlink is currently at its beta stage and charges £439 for the setup and a further £84 a month as a subscription. With this in mind, many will hope that the company does manage to reduce its costs, as it is currently more expensive than most UK providers without providing greater internet speeds for those in the cities. As a result, traditional-earthbound internet providers may not be concerned about the emerging technology just yet.
It is unclear how popular Starlink will prove to be, but it is evident that SpaceX is anticipating success as it continues to send large numbers of satellites into the sky.
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