Starlink SpaceX satellite internet service.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by Starlink Services, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American aerospace company SpaceX providing coverage to over 75 countries. It also aims to provide global mobile broadband.

SpaceX started launching Starlink satellites in 2019. As of early March 2024, it consists of over 6,000 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO)[5] that communicate with designated ground transceivers. Nearly 12,000 satellites are planned to be deployed, with a possible later extension to 34,400. SpaceX announced reaching more than 1 million subscribers in December 2022,1.5 million subscribers in May 2023, and 2 million subscribers in September 2023

The SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond, Washington houses the Starlink research, development, manufacturing and orbit control facilities. In May 2018, SpaceX estimated the total cost of designing, building and deploying the constellation would be at least US$10 billion. Revenues from Starlink in 2022 were reportedly $1.4 billion accompanied by a net loss, with a small profit being reported starting in 2023. Revenue is expected to reach $6.6 billion in 2024.

Starlink has been extensively used in the Russo-Ukrainian War, a role for which it has been contracted by the United States Department of Defense. Starshield, a military version of Starlink, is designed for government use.

Astronomers have raised concerns about the effect the constellation may have on ground-based astronomy, and how the satellites will contribute to an already congested orbital environment. SpaceX has attempted to mitigate astronometric interference concerns with measures to reduce the satellites’ brightness during operation.They are equipped with Hall-effect thrusters allowing them to orbit raise, station-keep, and de-orbit at the end of their lives. They are also designed to autonomously and smoothly avoid collisions based on uplinked tracking data.

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