A deadly cluster of tornadoes affected the US State of Kentucky, which destroyed entire towns and thousands of homes. On December 11th various homes across multiple Kentucky countries were damaged. SpaceX Delivered Starlink kits to the region affected by the tornadoes, first reported by a local newspaper The Paducah Sun. A native of Possum Trot, Kentucky SpaceX materials flow Engineer Austin Marshall delivered the Starlink kits.
The kits include all the necessary equipment to connect communities in the affected locations. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear stated on Friday that the death toll was around 77 people. Thus making it the deadliest tornado outbreak in the state’s history. Trot stated, “I like coming back home, but I wish the circumstances were better. I’m the one who put it all together. I saw there was a need. […] This is what we’re doing, is building a satellite internet constellation. It’s in Beta right now; we’re testing it out in the northern latitudes of North America and other countries. This is the first time it’s been in Kentucky, and they just turned on this area because of the disaster,”
— The Paducah Sun (@PaducahSunNews) December 18, 2021
As per the media reports, 20 Starlink kits were already delivered. Also, it is known that the local government authorities requested more than 40 kits to enable communication and first-responders. These kits are being delivered to the University of Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They coordinated deliveries to Graves County, Marshall County, Bowlin Green County, and Caldwell County. All these zones are the ones that faced the destructive force of tornadoes.
Starlink unaffected by the weather
Starlink internet dishes are unaffected by the terrestrial weather as the system is space-based. Operating around 1,944 satellites in the low earth orbit SpaceX had ground stations dispersed all over the world. These satellites then directly beam internet data to user terminals. Furthermore, SpaceX is working on the latest satellites featuring satellite communications with laser links. It enables the beam of the internet at high speed to terminals without ground stations.
Also, SpaceX is already operating at least 100 Starlink satellites with the laser link communication data transmission system. Extreme weather wouldn’t shut down the internet services and it doesn’t depend on the regular technology involving fiber optics and tall antenna towers. Also, recently SpaceX recently released an updated version of the terminal which is much cheaper to make. It is a square-shaped terminal that is lightweight. SpaceX has been working to connect rural and remote locations globally with their space-based internet services. This is not the first time SpaceX is providing free internet access to multiple locations. They also provided Starlinks to the small town of Malden in eastern Washington state and to Germany where massive flooding took place.