SpaceX’s Starlink Launch and the Race for Global Internet Coverage

I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them, but they were only satellites
it’s wrong to wish on space hardware.
– Billy Bragg

There’s a mini-constellation of new satellites in the sky. SpaceX has launched the first wave of its planned Starlink fleet into low earth orbit. The sixty satellites, weighing 13.6 tons in total, were deposited 400km above the Earth’s surface by a Falcon 9 rocket. They joined two early experimental Starlink satellites that were launched in 2018—and an increasingly crowded region of space.

The aim of the project is often stated as providing internet to the next four billion users, which represents a massive potential marketplace and a considerable revenue stream for SpaceX. Yet lucrative specialist services may be possible as well. Much will depend on how the system actually operates in practice, but as light travels faster through the vacuum of space

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