Skip to Content
Space

SpaceX has launched its first internet satellites

February 23, 2018

Elon Musk has taken his first step toward building a global broadband network in space.

Flying high: SpaceX successfully launched two test satellites—called Tintin A and Tintin B—into orbit. Musk says that they’re “deployed and communicating to Earth stations” and will attempt to say “Hello, world” as they pass over SpaceX HQ today.

Internet from space: The satellites pave the way for an entire constellation, known as Starlink, that could provide worldwide internet connections. Musk claims that it could rival fiber broadband, with low latency and speeds of up to a gigabit per second.

But: There’s a long way to go. The initial constellation requires 4,425 satellites in orbit, to be gradually launched over five years and reach full capacity by 2024. Another 7,500 satellites will—at some point—add additional capacity. Meanwhile, other firms, like Facebook and Google, are developing their own competing aerial internet services, too.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

How to opt out of Meta’s AI training

Your posts are a gold mine, especially as companies start to run out of AI training data.

The return of pneumatic tubes

Pneumatic tubes were supposed to revolutionize the world but have fallen by the wayside. Except in hospitals.

Why does AI hallucinate?

The tendency to make things up is holding chatbots back. But that’s just what they do.

How a simple circuit could offer an alternative to energy-intensive GPUs

The creative new approach could lead to more energy-efficient machine-learning hardware.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.