Skip to Content
Computing

SpaceX wants to build up to 1 million Earth satellite internet connections

February 12, 2019

The company just took the next step toward getting satellite internet to customers.

The news: You still need ground-based systems to receive a signal from satellite internet. With SpaceX’s February 1 filing to the US Federal Communications Commission, it’s requesting to deploy up to a million ground stations in the US—including in Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico—to provide connection points to its internet satellites on behalf of its sister company SpaceX Services.

Go for launch: SpaceX has already received the go-ahead from the FCC on the launch of 4,425 satellites that will make up its Starlink internet constellation. It still hasn’t divulged much information about the service it will offer and where, but it successfully launched two test satellites—called Tintin A and Tintin B—into orbit in February 2018.  

A long way to go: The thousands of satellites will be gradually launched over five years and won't all be in low-Earth orbit until 2024. The company plans to send up the first members of the initial constellation later in 2019. A further 7,500 satellites will—at some point—add additional capacity.

Want to stay up to date on the latest in space technology? Sign up for our space newsletter, The Airlock.

Deep Dive

Computing

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.

How gamification took over the world

Gamification was always just behaviorism dressed up in pixels and point systems. Why did we fall for it?

Digital twins are helping scientists run the world’s most complex experiments

Engineers use the high-fidelity models to monitor operations, plan fixes, and troubleshoot problems.

Quartz, cobalt, and the waste we leave behind

Three books reveal just how tragic a toll the materials we rely on take for humans and the environment.

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.