Elon Musk has announced that satellite internet service Starlink is now available on all seven continents, including Antarctica.
The Starlink network is primarily designed for people in rural locations that don’t have access to ground-based telecommunication infrastructure. Last week, in a significant move of installing terminals at the most extreme locations in the world, Mr Musk’s SpaceX even tested one of its Starlink internet terminals at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
On Monday, Mr Musk on Twitter officially announced, “Starlink is now active on all continents, including Antarctica.”
Starlink is now active on all continents, including Antarctica https://t.co/Q1VvqV5G0i
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2022
In an earlier tweet, he also said that Starlink will only be utilised for peaceful use.
As per SpaceX’s website, “Starlink internet works by sending information through the vacuum of space, where it travels much faster than in fibre-optic cable and can reach far more people and places.”
“With high speeds and latency as low as 20ms in most locations, Starlink enables video calls, online gaming, streaming, and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet,” the website read.
According to Space.com, SpaceX has already launched more than 3,200 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit. This number is expected to grow to even more enormous proportions as Mr Musk’s rocket company has permission to loft 12,000 Starlink spacecraft, and the firm has applied for permission from an international regulator to orbit 30,000 more satellites on top of that.
As per the outlet, SpaceX next year also plans to begin launching Starlink Version 2 satellites, which are much larger and more capable than the current iteration. Elon Musk has stated that the next-gen spacecraft will be able to beam service directly to smartphones.