Those who don’t stay on top of the latest SATCOM developments will rapidly find themselves lagging behind others in the industry.
Heading into 2020, there was close to 2,000 satellites above our head. But that number will soon be dwarfed with what lies in the near future. By 2025 over 1,000 new launches are expected per year. In just June 2020 a bevy of new satellites were launched or announced to be launched by multiple countries.
SpaceX alone successfully launched a new batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit and nailed a rocket landing at sea to top off the mission. Starlink is the name of a satellite network that the private spaceflight company SpaceX developed to provide low-cost internet to remote locations.
These “mini-satellites” have been the talk of the industry. Each one weighs about 500 pounds and is roughly the size of a table.
Rather than sending internet signals through electric cables, which must be physically laid down to reach far-flung places, satellite internet works by beaming information through the vacuum of space, where it travels 47% faster than in fiber-optic cable.
Before the SpaceX project, satellite internet worked by using large spacecraft that orbited 22,236 miles (35,786 km) above a particular spot on the Earth. But at that distance, there are generally significant time delays in sending and receiving data.
By being closer to our planet and networking together, Starlink’s mini satellites are meant to carry large amounts of information rapidly to any point on Earth, even over the oceans and in extremely hard-to-reach places where fiber-optic cables would be expensive to lay down.
The Starlink network is expected to provide coverage after about 1,000 of these satellites are in place and become operational.
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