Washington: Elon Musk-run SpaceX has launched 60 more Starlink satellites aboard Falcon 9 rocket to be deployed in low-Earth orbit, bringing the constellation to 788 as the company gears up for a public beta of the affordable satellite broadband service.
The 13th Starlink launch was completed on Sunday from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“As our Starlink network is still in its early stages, the Starlink team continues to test the system, collecting latency data and performing speed tests of the service,” the company said in a statement.
SpaceX said that the team recently installed Starlink terminals on the Administrative Center building and at 20 private homes on the Hoh Tribe Reservation, located in a remote area of western Washington State.
SpaceX recently presented the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Starlink internet performance tests showing it was capable of download speeds of between 102Mbps to 103Mbps, upload speeds of 40.5Mbps to not quite 42Mbps, and a latency of 18 milliseconds to 19 milliseconds.
“Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in the northern US and hopefully southern Canada,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet earlier this month.
“Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval”.
It is expected that there will be gigabit speeds on offer, meaning up to 1Gbps Internet speeds, with a fairly low latency of up to 25ms.
Starlink plans to offer these Internet services for around $80 per month, which is priced at par if not lower than similar speed broadband plans in most countries, including India.
Starlink satellites orbit Earth at an altitude of about 500 kms, far closer to Earth than traditional conventional satellite broadband services.