US customers that are in poor internet areas will be the first to experience SpaceX’s Starlink satellite in August.
Two days ago, SpaceX launched 60 more satellites to a total of 420 satellites that were previously launched. Elon Musk confirmed this in a tweet:
There are now 420 operational Starlink satellites ? ?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 22, 2020
These satellites will be low enough for people to see but they will eventually be invisible to telescopes. A twitter user asked Elon Musk about how many launches are left for minor/moderate coverage. Elon Musk responded that public beta will follow after private in 6 months.
Elon Musk also confirmed this in a tweet:
Private beta begins in ~3 months, public beta in ~6 months, starting with high latitudes
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2020
Areas with poor internet connection will be the first to have the satellite internet access in August of this year. According to Popular Mechanics, one third of rural Americans do not have high-speed internet. These areas include “university towns and government laboratory areas-places with small populations with no research facilities.” Areas with high altitude, like Germany, will also be included in the first beta trials.
This all is in line with SpaceX’s goal of global coverage will take about 12,000 satellites. Launching is projected to complete by 2021.
SpaceX’s plan for public access using Starlink Satellites is ambitious to say the least, especially during a global pandemic. It will be interesting to see how the plan plays out with new everyday complications.