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SpaceX invites public to apply for Starlink beta test ahead of imminent launch

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SpaceX invites public to apply for Starlink beta test ahead of imminent launch of company’s satellite-based internet service

  • SpaceX is inviting users to receive updates on when the Starlink beta launches
  • Prospective customers are asked to provide email addresses and zip codes
  • Eligible users will receive a user terminal that captures satellite signals
  • The beta is expected to launch later this summer of early fall 

SpaceX is now inviting users to join its satellite-powered Starlink internet ahead of a public beta.

As noted by ZDNet, the Elon Musk-owned aerospace company is now letting people who are interested in the service sign up to, in the company’s words, ‘Get updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area.’

By filling out an email form with a zip code, prospective customers will get notifications on when or if they’re able to join the Starlink service once it’s opened up. 

Starlink is inviting users to sign up for Starlink once it's launched. The company is asking users to provide their email addresses and zip codes

Starlink is inviting users to sign up for Starlink once it’s launched. The company is asking users to provide their email addresses and zip codes 

‘If you provided us with your zip code, you will be notified via email if beta testing opportunities become available in your area,’ reads a message sent to users who sign up.

‘In the meantime, we will continue to share with you updates about general service availability and upcoming Starlink launches.’

The beta is expected to open up in later this summer or in early fall and will have a bout 800 satellites in all.

As noted by ZDNet, users who successfully sign up for the beta will receive a user terminal that Musk has described as looking like, a ‘little UFO on a stick’ that can position itself optimally to receive the signals from space.

Musk has said that the price for the Internet – which promises gigabit speeds with 15 to 25ms latency – will be about $80 per month, making it competitive with other traditional high-speed providers like Verizon Fios.

Currently, SpaceX has more than 500 Starlink satellites in orbit which is well above the 400-satellite threshold needed for SpaceX to start introducing ‘minimal’ internet coverage.

Musk has said that at least 800 are necessary for moderate coverage.

The firm aims to have more than 1,000 satellites in orbit by the end of the year and has also been approved by the FCC to launch over 12,000 in total.

Collectively they will form a constellation designed to provide low-cost broadband internet service from low-Earth orbit. 

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