U.S. private space company SpaceX successfully launched its 12th Starlink mission on Thursday, carrying another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit. During this launch, SpaceX claims that the satellites have shown “download speeds greater than 100 mbps.”
Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious plan to launch nearly 12,000 satellites by 2024 into low orbits around the Earth to provide broadband coverage to the ground below. It aims to deliver high-speed internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable, according to SpaceX.
Users of the system are meant to tap into the constellation using personal antennas on the ground, what SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has described as looking like a “UFO on a stick.”
With Thursday’s launch, the company has put more than 700 satellites into orbit, more than the 400 needed to provide “initial operational capability,” and close to the 800 needed to provide “significant operational capabilities,” according to Musk.
This summer, SpaceX began early beta testing of the constellation, with employees using Starlink to test download speeds. Kate Tice, senior program reliability engineer at SpaceX, said during the launch broadcast that the download speeds were greater than 100 megabytes per second (MBps).
“We’re checking how fast data travels from the satellites to our customers, and then back to the rest of the internet. Initial results have been good,” she said.
The speeds are still not as fast as what SpaceX originally claimed for the system, but are slightly faster than what early user testing has shown – average download speeds between 11 Mbps and 60 Mbps.
“Our network, of course, is very much a work in progress,” she noted. “And over time, we will continue to add features to unlock the full capability of that network.”
Starlink is targeting service in the Northern United States and Canada in 2020, and rapidly expands to near global coverage of the populated world by 2021.
Each satellite weighs about 260 kilograms and features a compact, flat-panel design that minimizes volume, allowing for a dense launch stack to take full advantage of the launch capabilities of the Falcon 9 carrier rocket, according to SpaceX.
Look: New Proposed Rocket Design Could Solve SpaceX Launch Delays Due to Bad Weather – Tech Times
SpaceX has been geared up and ready to launch a new batch of Starlink satellites but due to the severe weather conditions that they suggest are “likely to persist” for the next couple of days, they have finally decided to postpone the launch date and will keep people posted as to the next target launch date once confirmed.
The post that suggested a new design
Firing a rocket is in no way easy and designing a rocket could be just as hard or even harder! After stating that they had to postpone the launch, which is a common thing for rockets should bad weather occur, a certain Twitter account @billhuang688 then posted a picture of a proposed rocket design that could allegedly solve launch delays due to bad weather.
The post included a picture titled U.S. Rockets All Weather #1013 Level 1 which does not seem to appear on Google at all. The post contains the certain specifications that are allegedly needed in order for rockets to be able to withstand the harsh weather and launch anyway. Although the specifications and the legitimacy of this design when it comes to withstand harsh weather, the detailed design is certainly still quite interesting.
Look closely at the post and you’ll realize it’s not a real rocket
The specifications even contain the length, diameter, weight, drag, CP, assembly time, and other specifications. Although this may look quite interesting at first, the closer you look at it, you will realize that this rocket is actually way too small and could possibly be just a model rocket and not an actual satellite-carrying rocket.
At first glance, it looks like an official design but the closer you look at it, you’ll see the rocket needing glue, sandpaper, sealer, paint, etc. This proves that the new specifications for the “weather resistant” rocket are actually specifications for a toy rocket.
Rocket design and SpaceX history
The specifications are not as easy as making a rocket modeled after a toy. In fact, it initially took SpaceX years before they were able to successfully launch a rocket. In fact, Elon Musk was almost on the brink of bankruptcy when SpaceX had enough funds for one more launch in order to attract investors and seal the contract with NASA.
Surprisingly, that last shot did pay off and this is why SpaceX is now what it is, a growing business that focuses on space exploration and space work. Starlink, on the other hand, works as a service to people.
Elon Musk has acknowledged that there are certain parts of the world where internet connection is very scarce and this is something he aims to change with his Starlink. The Starlink is supposedly going to provide internet connection across the globe through a series of satellites strategically hovering around Earth.
These satellites are said to be closer to the Earth than most satellites are thus providing a really good internet connection to the assigned area.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Urian Buenconsejo
Northern towns push to approve Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet project – CTV Toronto
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) believe Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet program is the long-awaited solution to the region’s internet coverage issues.
As the group discussed at its recent meeting in Hearst, the program hopes to do away with the decades-long efforts and billions of dollars needed to build internet infrastructure on the ground.
FONOM’s vice-president, Paul Schoppmann, said the only roadblock is approval from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
“It’s the wave of the future,” Schoppmann said in an interview.
“We’ve been talking about it for the last 15 years and we’re still no further ahead for the rural communities. So this will be a game-changer, economically.”
Bringing high-speed internet to the entire region
The first phase of the Starlink project would have around 400 satellites orbiting the northern hemisphere, providing high-speed gigabit internet to remote and rural areas in the U.S. and Canada.
With 775 Starlink satellites currently in orbit around the planet and bi-weekly launches of 60 satellites each, SpaceX’s goal is to have the program operational by the end of 2020.
The company plans to have near-global internet coverage by the end of 2021, with an eventual 12,000 satellite fleet.
Schoppmann said bringing Starlink to Canada would be of zero cost to the federal government, with the company apparently asking for no financial support. He said that makes this an easy decision.
“We’re sending the resolution to our MPs, MPPs and the CRTC […] saying, ‘We represent 110 municipalities in the northeast,” said Schoppmann, who is also mayor of St. Charles.
“We are asking for this but let’s get it going, let’s not wait two to five years.”
Fulfilling a government promise
The Ontario government expressed its commitment to making sure every household and business has access to internet connections with minimum 50 Mbps download speed and 10 mbps upload.
However, a June report from Blue Sky Net shows that the average internet connection had just below 9 Mbps download and just above 5 Mbps upload.
Schoppmann said even the province’s goal of “50/10” internet speeds province-wide is not sufficient for what the average household and business needs to operate in today’s society.
He said his town has had issues connecting businesses with fibre optic internet service, which is meant to have higher internet speeds from 100 Mbps to 1.5 gigabits per second (Gbps).
Reaction in Timmins
Timmins city councillor John Curley, who attended FONOM’s meeting, said communities can’t wait for infrastructure to catch up while thousands require internet to operate in today’s society.
He said quick decision-making is especially crucial while many are working and learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The cost of (building infrastructure), in time, will far exceed what we’re trying to do here by trying to bring satellite reception into people’s homes throughout the north,” Curley said.
Timmins mayor George Pirie feels governments can take quick action on this, if the willpower is there to finally follow through on their promise to rural and remote communities.
“There’s areas off of Highway 101 where you cannot get internet service, so we need that in the north — well, all parts of society,” Pirie said.
Scientist Shows There Are Two Ways to Measure a Day on Earth – The Union Journal
How long does it take Earth to complete a 360-degree rotation? Not quite 24 hours, it turns out – it’s precisely 23 hours and 56 minutes.
But because Earth is constantly moving along its orbit around the Sun, a different point on the planet faces the Sun directly at the end of that 360-degree spin.
For the Sun to reach the exact same position in the sky, Earth has to rotate 1 degree further.
That’s how humans have chosen to measure days: not by the Earth’s exact rotation, but the position of the Sun in the sky.
Technically, these are two different types of day. A day measured by the completion of a 360-degree rotation is called the sidereal day.
A day based on the position of the Sun, however, is a solar day. The latter is four minutes longer than the former, making the even 24 hours we’re used to.
“It’s only because we move around the Sun in an orbit that the solar day takes 24 hours,” James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist at the Japanese space agency (JAXA), told Business Insider.
“If we didn’t orbit the Sun, both days would be the same.”
He made the below animation to show how this works.
Because we go by solar days in our calendars, we count 365 days in a year. But Earth actually completes a full rotation (a sidereal day) 366 times per year.
O’Donoghue describes the difference between these two types of day as a matter of choosing which background object we use as a basis of comparison for Earth’s rotation. A full rotation relative to the position of the Sun is a solar day. A full rotation relative to all the other stars we see is a sidereal day.
If we used the sidereal day instead, “the Sun would rise about four minutes earlier every day,” O’Donoghue said. “After six months of doing this, the Sun would be rising 12 hours earlier.”
He added: “We’ve decided to tie our daily rhythm to the Sun, not the stars. In fact, the stars rise about four minutes earlier every day because of our choice.”
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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