Recommended viewing: Starlink will provide high-quality broadband internet to the most isolated part of the planet. Four billion more online shoppers. schools were there are no schools. Healthcare where there is no health care. Let’s hope that Elon can make it work.
Where are they circling the earth is a better question? Click on this LINK and you can observe the current orbit. Wait 10 minutes and hit the refresh button and see the flock move.
The GeekWire has the detail:
Here’s the full text of today’s statement from SpaceX:
“Just a little over a month after a successful Falcon 9 launch, Starlink is now the first NGSO system to operate in the Ku-band and communicate with U.S. ground stations, demonstrating the system’s potential to provide fast, reliable internet to populations around the world.
“57 Starlink satellites are communicating with SpaceX’s Earth stations using their broadband phased array antennas. 45 Starlink satellites have reached their operational altitude using their onboard propulsion systems, five additional satellites continue their orbit raise, as five others are going through checkouts prior to completing their orbit raise. Two satellites are being intentionally deorbited to simulate an end of life disposal. Three satellites which initially communicated with the ground but are no longer in service, will passively deorbit. Due to their design and low orbital position, all five deorbiting satellites will disintegrate once they enter Earth’s atmosphere in support of SpaceX’s commitment to a clean space environment.
“SpaceX implemented slight variations across the 60 satellites in order to maximize operational capability across the fleet. While we are pleased with the performance of the satellites so far, SpaceX will continue to push the operational capabilities of the satellites to inform future iterations. And, now that the majority of the satellites have reached their operational altitude, SpaceX will begin using the constellation to start transmitting broadband signals, testing the latency and capacity by streaming videos and playing some high bandwidth video games using gateways throughout North America.”
While on the web page, I highly recommend clicking on the video link “Why SpaceX is Making Starlink”
Read the full article HERE to capture the debate discussion.
The LA Times has a long article by Samantha Masunaga on SpaceX’s Challenges
Elon Musk and SpaceX have staked their legacy on a spaceship capable of carrying a hundred passengers to Mars. But to pay for that dream, the Hawthorne company is banking on a project that is ambitious in its own way: selling broadband internet service delivered by more than 1,000 small satellites.
Chief Executive Musk has mused to reporters about the technological hurdles facing SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, including antennas that track the satellites as they move through the sky and laser communication systems that allow the spacecraft to talk to each other. Last month, SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites of its planned constellation.
But industry experts say the company’s biggest challenge is financial. SpaceX must drive down the cost of sophisticated hardware and software to the point where it can deliver fast, reliable internet service at a price point that competes with cable or fiber-delivered broadband services, while finding enough underserved markets to provide scale.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell hasn’t been shy about the hurdles Starlink faces.
“This is probably one of the most challenging, if not the most challenging, project we’ve undertaken,” she said during an onstage conversation at a TED conference last year. “No one has been successful deploying a huge constellation for internet broadband. I don’t think physics is the difficulty here. I think we can come up with the right technology solution, but we need to make a business out of it.”
Here’s a look at what Musk and SpaceX must overcome:
Finding a market
SpaceX previously said its broadband coverage would be aimed at customers in the U.S. and around the world, “including areas underserved or currently unserved by existing networks.” In mid-June, Musk seemed to narrow the scope, telling shareholders of Tesla Inc. — Musk’s other high-wire venture — that the broadband plan’s main value was in providing internet access to “rural or semi-rural areas, places that don’t have connectivity right now.”
In 2017, more than 26% of people who lived in rural areas in the U.S. were not covered by terrestrial broadband internet service, according to a May report from the Federal Communications Commission. Industry experts have estimated that only 10% to 20% of the Earth’s land area is covered by terrestrial cell towers.
“It’s probably able to serve 3% to 5% of people in the world, but it’s actually not ideal for high-density cities,” Musk said. “It’s really to serve the unserved or poorly served.”
If successful, Starlink will be a major boon for SpaceX’s business and would diversify the company’s revenue streams beyond rocket launches. During a call with reporters last month, Musk estimated that, with a successful Starlink service, SpaceX could grab at least 3%, or $30 billion, of a $1-trillion global internet connectivity market.
That’s important since Musk said the company’s launch revenue probably “taps out” at about $3 billion a year.
Continues reading HERE.
The Verge has a long read update HERE
SpaceX is in communication with all but three of 60 Starlink satellites one month after launch And two of the 60 have intentionally been de-orbited
It’s been over a month since SpaceX launched its first batch of 60 internet-beaming satellites for the company’s massive Starlink initiative, and all but three of the satellites seem to be working as intended. Initially, SpaceX was able to communicate with all 60 spacecraft after launch, but eventually lost communication with three outliers. The uncommunicative trio will continue to orbit the Earth for a time, but will eventually get pulled down toward our planet by gravity, where they will burn up in the atmosphere.
The rest of the 57 satellites have been working as intended, according to the company. Forty-five of the satellites have raised their altitudes with their onboard thrusters and have reached their final intended orbits of 342 miles (550 kilometers) up. Five of the satellites are still in the middle of raising their orbits, and another five are undergoing additional systems checks before they raise their orbits. As for the remaining two satellites, SpaceX intentionally fired their onboard thrusters with the goal of crashing them into the planet’s atmosphere. There wasn’t anything wrong with those satellites — the company just wanted to test the de-orbiting process.
That means that five total satellites are headed into a fiery grave. “Due to their design and low orbital position, all five deorbiting satellites will disintegrate once they enter Earth’s atmosphere in support of SpaceX’s commitment to a clean space environment,” SpaceX said in a statement.
Continue reading HERE
The first batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites has been orbiting Earth for about a week, and now SpaceX has released a status update on the mission. According to a spokesperson, “all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations.”
The statement didn’t directly mention concerns by astronomers about their brightness and visibility, but Elon Musk already has, and they aren’t expected to reach their full altitude for three to four weeks. According to SpaceX, “observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves with the phased array antennas toward Earth and their solar arrays behind the body of the satellite.”
Parabolic Arc notes that during a speech at MIT this week, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell mentioned four of the units had unspecified problems, while today’s update said “most” are using their Hall thrusters to reach operational altitude and have already made contact with their broadband antennas, but all of them have maneuvering capability to avoid each other and other objects.
We continue to track the progress of the Starlink satellites during early orbit operations. At this point, all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations.
Most are already using their onboard propulsion system to reach their operational altitude and have made initial contact using broadband phased array antennas.
SpaceX continues to monitor the constellation for any satellites that may need to be safely deorbited. All the satellites have maneuvering capability and are programmed to avoid each other and other objects in orbit by a wide margin.
Also, please note that the observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves with the phased array antennas toward Earth and their solar arrays behind the body of the satellite
Continue reading HERE.
CA Economic Summit: Digital Inclusion Event Sparks Commitments Around Expansion Of Broadband In California
In a day marked by creativity, candor and collaboration, broadband stakeholders came together during a “Digital Inclusion Roundtable” on last week in Sacramento to develop a set of action steps to expand high-speed broadband deployment throughout California.
The Roundtable was convened through a partnership between the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and California Forward. Its purpose was to promote policies and practices in state agencies to advance “Digital Inclusion” for all Californians. The event drew more than 40 representatives from state and local governments, League of California Cities, Rural County Representatives of California, Broadband Regional Consortia, internet service providers, tribal interests, the California Council of Governments, and other local and regional stakeholders.
In opening remarks, Amy Tong, director and state chief information officer for the California Department of Technology, noted that statewide broadband initiatives are a priority under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration, with much energy focused on the digital divide still facing the state.
“The broadband initiative is taking on a whole new life,” Tong said. “We have done everything we can under the circumstances, but there is a lot more we can do.”
Lenny Mendonca, the Governor’s chief economic and business advisor and director of the Office of Business and Economic Development, echoed those thoughts during a noontime address. He emphasized that broadband access is critical for public safety, education, economic development and a host of other state priorities.
“We really need to have a digitally inclusive economy,” Mendonca said. “It is a priority for the governor.”
The Roundtable discussion featured lively discussion around both opportunities and barriers for expanding broadband access to underserved and unserved areas of the state. It was designed to build upon the work of CETF to integrate Digital Inclusion into all state policies and programs.
CETF is a nonprofit corporation with a goal of broadband deployment and availability to at least 98 percent of California households by 2023 and overall statewide adoption of broadband service by 90 percent of households in that same time frame. The state has made progress, with 84 percent of California households in 2016 able to access high-speed Internet at home, according to a CETF analysis of progress between 2007-2017.
But as that analysis explains, “sobering challenges” remain with a digital divide in California that includes more than 5 million residents offline at home, and 14 percent connected at home by only a smartphone. CETF’s efforts to close the divide have included, among other initiatives, a focus on incorporating broadband deployment into state transportation corridor planning guidelines and recognizing broadband as a “green strategy” for reducing impacts on the environment and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
The event was designed to assess progress following a September 2018 stakeholder meeting by the California Broadband Council and the California Department of Technology, where participants explored the concept of “strategic corridors” to support broadband deployment. The concept, which arises under the state’s statutory “Dig Once” responsibilities, seeks to establish conduit installation specifications in strategic corridors where transportation projects are being constructed but no internet service provider or public agency is prepared at the time to install conduit.
CETF President and CEO Sunne Wright McPeak noted that the September 2018 forum “was a tremendous conversation,” and that the Roundtable in Sacramento was designed to “hear from state agencies – what you have done and what you intend to do.”
Continue reading HERE. [Emphasis added]
More broadband blather! Where is the action? CA blathers about broadband while the states global competitors take action. Even poorer states are taking action when CA the fifth largest economy continues to talk about the problem. Elon Musk’s Starlink will available before we see any concrete action by the state of Calfornia to serve its rural citizens.