PLANS for Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink WiFi router have been revealed in a regulatory filing.
They show a drawing of the device that will help future Starlink customers connect their computers to the infamous orbiting satellites.
The plans have been approved[/caption]
The Starlink WiFi Router has now been approved by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
It will connect to a satellite dish which Starlink customers will need to position on their home.
According to Musk, the dish will have motors that position it in the best possible direction.
It’s just been revealed that Starlink will be conducting a trial with this equipment for some potential customers in the US and lower Canada.
We don’t know much about the inside or outside of the WiFi router due to a SpaceX confidentiality request.
The company has started asking people who previously expressed interest in the broadband internet for their addresses.
Potential testers who signed up for more information should have received a SpaceX email asking for their specific location.
Previously, they were only asked for their ZIP codes/postcodes.
The company needs this to work out who will be suitable for the testing process.
You can still sign up for information on Starlink via Starlink.com.
An image of the suspected Starlink dish said to be ‘data mined’ from the official website[/caption]
For now, SpaceX is said to be looking to test its ultra-fast broadband in a private beta test this summer followed by a public beta test.
Reddit user Bubby4j reportedly data mined Starlink’s website and found out several details.
According to that ‘mined’ information, the Starlink test program will begin in some northern US states, lower Canada and some rural communities in the Washington State area.
So if you happen to live there you could be in with a chance of testing out Starlink before anyone else.
Reddit user Bubby4j also claims that testers will be sent a special Starlink dish that they’ll need to give a good view of the Northern Sky.
They should also get an FCC approved router and a mount.
Testers aren’t expected to get a smooth internet experience at first as this will only be a trial and they reportedly won’t be able to publicly tell people about the test.
However, they won’t be paying for the internet trial apart from a very small fee to test the billing system.
What is Starlink?
SpaceX has been sending Starlink satellites into orbit since 2019.
Starlink is a controversial scheme that aims to beam Wi-Fi to people from space using a “mega constellation” of thousands of satellites.
“With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet … Starlink will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable,” the official website explains.
The project is the brainchild of tech billionaire Elon Musk, whose California-based rocket firm SpaceX builds and operates the satellites.
More than 420 have been launched so far, with the network eventually set to reach 12,000, rising to as many as 42,000 in the future.
SpaceX sends its satellites up in batches of 60 at a time.
Each group is launched atop an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket built by SpaceX.
The solar-powered tech typically orbits around 340 miles above Earth.
How the probes will affect the night sky has caused some concern as they sit in a low orbit, so appear brighter than stars and planets.
However, SpaceX has been working to make the satellites less shiny and visible.
What is SpaceX?
Here's what you need to know…
SpaceX was founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk who still has part ownership of the company with 54 per cent equity and 78 per cent voting control.
SpaceX is a private American aerospace manufacturer that is based in California.
It was founded in 2002 with the goal to build affordable rockets and enable the colonisation of Mars.
The manufacturer also aimed to reduce space transportation costs.
Since its creation, the firm has gained fame primarily as a pioneering rocket firm.
In 2008 it launched the first privately-funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit and later became the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun.
The company has grown dramatically over its lifespan, from 160 employees in November 2005 to around 7,000 as of November 2019.
As of March 2018, SpaceX had over 100 launches on its manifest representing about $12billion (£9.24billion) in contract revenue.
Most read in Phones & Gadgets
In other news, Elon Musk has announced he’ll be making a statement about his human brain implants next month.
Facebook’s Reality Labs and its Oculus virtual reality brand have been working on the thinnest VR headset to date.
And, Flat-Earthers were mocked online by people pointing out that images from a recent SpaceX launch showed the Earth as round.
What are your thoughts on Starlink? Let us know in the comments…
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org