From Self-driving Tesla cars, trips to the moon and colonizing Mars, has only been a glimpse into the innovative mind of Elon Musk.
Why such outsized ambitions? According to him, When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.
To implement his latest dream of a “multiplanetary” society and to fund it by providing all Earthlings with high-speed Internet access.
Starlink is Elon Musk’s ambitious project to provide satellite based broadband services to the world. Starlink is aimed at a global market, especially remote areas where terrestrial alternatives are limited. Satellite Internet will provide major relief to people in remote areas, with no Internet access due to their distance from wired networks.Hundreds of cities that were previously entirely unsuitable for a business location, will have potential once Starlink goes live.
Satellite Internet should break government owned expensive microwave cell towers and grounded Internet monopolies, democratizing space communications. And these businesses are not too happy with this project. It will break open human potential, empowering individuals and communities, currently limited by corrupt and incompetent government telecommunication systems in many parts of our globe. Not many of us who already have easy access to the Internet realize that this is not a reality for many remote areas of the world. Connecting the other three billion will be a huge economic benefit to global wealth and equity.
Receiving internet communication signals from space is useful during extreme weather conditions, like tornadoes or hurricanes, that could destroy terrestrial communication systems. Starlink users would still have constant communication when bad weather strikes. This is especially useful for emergency first responders who are risking their life on the front line.
When SpaceX’s Starlink internet initiates operations world-wide, it will ignite a new internet age where information will become easily accessible to just about everyone on Earth. There is a high possibility that some countries will ban the use of a Starlink terminal for internet access, but people will realize the tool is available and their government is depriving them of information in an effort to control the populations.
War torn countries could also benefit from satellite based communication. Starlink could provide constant connectivity to areas that face destruction to their ground stations, providing a reliable way for first responders or governments to stay well communicated during rescue operations.
Why astronauts aren’t too happy with Starlink?
For astronomers, light is everything. Observing celestial objects in different wavelengths of light is the best method they have for exploring the Universe. That’s why adding artificial light to the sky freaks out so many scientists. Of course, the sky is a big canvas, so lets not let the negativity outweigh the huge benefits Starlink has to offer humanity.
Musk’s declaration ends on an ominous note, in essence saying :
“My clients will be able to do whatever they want, just as I am able to do whatever I want”.
This project has hence left Governments and other telecommunication businesses at cross roads.
Watch STARLINK satellites train seen from earth.