Starlink arrives in Antarctica

Starlink high-speed internet now available in all seven continents

SpaceX Starlink services have been expanding to various locations. In recent times, Starlink was being tested in Antarctica. Where National Science Foundation says that scientists in Antarctica are “over the moon” to have the services. The NSF further stated that the Starlink terminal was installed at the McMurdo Station. The station is a US Antarctic research station on the south tip of Ross Island.

Starlink arrives in Antarctica
Image credits- Tech Crunch

Elon Musk once stated that Starlink is designed to provide high-speed internet access to everywhere in the globe. Starlink recently had a milestone in this regard, with SpaceX confirming that the satellite internet system is now on all seven continents, including Antarctica. The idea of Starlink providing high-speed internet access to Antarctica seemed farfetched just a few years ago. But as per SpaceX’s post on Twitter, it is now possible to provide internet access to extremely remote locations like Antarctica thanks to Starlink’s space laser network, which reduces the need for ground stations.

McMurdo Station is the largest community in Antarctica, capable of supporting up to 1,258 residents. It also serves as one of three US-based Antarctic science facilities that operate year-round. With all months of the year having an average temperature below freezing, Starlink’s capability to provide internet access to such a location is indeed very impressive.

Starlink growth

SpaceX has already launched more than 3,200 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit. And the constellation will grow to even more enormous proportions if all goes according to plan: SpaceX has permission to loft 12,000 Starlink spacecraft, and the company has applied for permission from an international regulator to orbit 30,000 more satellites on top of that. Starting next year, SpaceX plans to begin launching Starlink Version 2 satellites, which are much larger and more capable than the current iteration. Those next-gen spacecraft will be able to beam service directly to smartphones, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk have said.

Indeed, late last month, Musk announced that SpaceX and T-Mobile had signed a deal to provide such service, via a project called “Coverage Above and Beyond” Starlink is crucial to SpaceX’s long-term exploration goals. Musk has said that revenues from the broadband constellation are helping to fund Starship, the giant rocket-spaceship combo that SpaceX is developing to take people and cargo to the moon and Mars. SpaceX also plans to launch Starlink Version 2 satellites to orbit using Starship. Potentially this is also going to be used on moving vehicles like cruises and Starship launches.