SpaceX prepares for open beta test of Starlink

SpaceX / Wikipedia

On October 6, 2020, SpaceX launched another batch of 60 Starlink satellites. According to Elon Musk, as soon as they reach their positions, a public testing of broadband internet access, provided by Starlink, will begin.

775 satellites are currently in orbit, most of them already tested in closed beta. The test reportedly showed good results, with the leader of Hoh, Native American tribe living in a remote area of Washington state, praising the performance of satellite connection. 

The next testing phase, according to Musk, will cover the northern United States and possibly southern Canada. Then, month by month, the service will be incrementally expanded further.

In early September, the existing Starlink service was said to provide download speeds of over 100Mbps, a tenth of what it is planned to offer upon completion.

Starlink constellation is going to consist of almost 1,500 satellites. The first test batch was put into orbit in early 2018, while since the beginning of 2020 SpaceX is launching 1 or 2 batches, 60 satellites each, every month on average. 

The firm faced criticism from the astronomical community for light pollution, and since August 2020 is equipping all launched satellites with a special reflection-reducing shade. 

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