This Saturday evening, many Aubois were able to observe, shortly before 10 p.m., a succession of luminous points in the sky which resembled a shooting star. This phenomenon, which our neighbors from Lorraine and Franche-Comté have also been able to observe, is in fact linked to … Elon Musk via his company SpaceX.
This trail of luminous points, about fifty, was in reality a train of satellites of the Starlink project which left in low orbit (550 km) around the Earth. Starlink? It is SpaceX’s satellite Internet service provider launched in 2019.
Half a million customers worldwide
A pharaonic project which is only in its infancy and aims, in the long term, the presence of 42,000 satellites around the Earth. So far, just over 3,000 satellites have been launched, mostly from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California and Kennedy Space Center on the Cape Canaveral peninsula in Florida. By 2025, 12,000 satellites weighing 300 kilos should orbit the Earth.
If Starlink is only in its infancy, it already has 500,000 customers in ten countries, mainly in North America and Western Europe, including France. At the end of February, they were half as many. Elon Musk’s goal is to offer an alternative to fiber optics in areas that are not eligible for it. It has been said: the deployment of this new Internet operator has only just begun. In early August, in France, Starlink changed its commercial offer and is very aggressive on the market: the cost of the monthly subscription has been halved and is now 50 euros per month. The price of the antenna, however, remains high due to the shortage of chips worldwide; it is 634 euros.
Since the beginning of the year, more than twenty satellite launches have been organised. According to the specialized site findstarlink.com, two additional bursts of satellites were to be launched into orbit around 9:40 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.
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