Starlink has become a reasonably well known word over the last year. Recognised as a satellite project from Elon Musk’s SpaceX to eventually provide internet access through its own satellites.

Over the past year SpaceX has launched over 500 of these satellites, which are fundamentally different to your usual satellite internet provider. First of all these satellites orbit at around 550 kilometers above the Earth, whilst conventional satellites orbit at 1000+ kilometers. This gives a number of benefits including sustainability. Starlink sats will burn up in the Earths atmosphere in a period of 1-5 years, instead of the huge timeframe of 100+ years for conventional satellites. Each sat has it’s own thrusters too, which will push it out of orbit and into the depths of space when the sat is no longer needed.

The Satellites haven’t been without issue this year though, with their large flat solar arrays powering each one, the glare produced is being reflected to Earth, with many sightings of the satellites across the night sky. To fix the issue, all future Starlink sats will be launched with a ‘sun visor’ to try and reduce this issue.

This week SpaceX has launched registration for its new internet service. If you live in the USA or Canada, you can register to test out SpaceX internet, via this link. The final goal for the Starlink project is to provide internet access to locations that are too remote, or have unreliable connections, bringing more of the world online and into the 21st century.