JOPLIN, Mo. — Thursday evening shortly after 9:00 PM we started receiving messages from followers about lights in the night sky. We can tell you for sure it is not aliens.
In a simple way you can say it’s high-speed internet for country folk. You know when you get outside the city you can’t get fast speeds?
What you saw were small satellites part of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband internet constellation — a global satellite internet project. The project aims “to provide constant high-speed internet access to users around the world,” including remote areas that are often left out.
According to Space.com, SpaceX now operates more orbiting satellites than any other company. And over Joplin were just a few that will combine with the thousands that will eventually make up SpaceX’s global internet project.
Starlink is particularly targeted at rural residents who have slow internet speeds. Users can expect to see data speeds from 50Mb/s to 150 Mb/s in most locations.
This week, SpaceX said about 500,000 people have put orders for the Starlink service so far. Thousands are on beta service already, but it won’t roll out more fully until later in the year.
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There could be up to 12,000 satellites to make up the Starlink project.
Each satellite weighs around 485 pounds and will beam high-speed internet to the Earth below. SpaceX plans to operate these satellites in a lower geostationary orbit than existing satellite internet providers, which they say will provide faster internet speeds.
SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk. Click here to read more about the company.