SpaceX is leveraging its experience in building rockets and spacecraft to deploy the world's most advanced broadband internet system.
With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet, and a global network unbounded by ground infrastructure limitations, Starlink will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.
Starlink is targeting service in the Northern U.S. and Canada in 2020, rapidly expanding to near global coverage of the populated world by 2021.
Starlink is on the leading edge of on-orbit debris mitigation, meeting or exceeding all regulatory and industry standards.
At end of life, the satellites will utilize their on-board propulsion system to deorbit over the course of a few months. In the unlikely event the propulsion system becomes inoperable, the satellites will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within 1-5 years, significantly less than the hundreds or thousands of years required at higher altitudes.
Each satellite weighs approximately 260kg and features a compact, flat-panel design that minimizes volume, allowing for a dense launch stack to take full advantage of the launch capabilities of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.
With 4 powerful phased array antennas on each satellite, an enormous amount of throughput can be placed and redirected in a short time, for an order of magnitude lower cost.
Starlink satellites feature a single solar array, significantly simplifying the system; solar cells are standardized, and easy to integrate into the manufacturing process.
Starlink satellites are equipped with efficient ion thrusters powered by krypton that enable the satellites to orbit raise, maneuver in space, and deorbit at the end of their useful life. Starlink is the first krypton propelled spacecraft ever flown.
Custom-built in-house navigation sensors tell each satellite its attitude, which helps enable precision placement of broadband throughput.
Starlink satellites utilize inputs from the Department of Defense’s debris tracking system to autonomously perform maneuvers to avoid collisions with space debris and other spacecraft. This capability reduces human error, allowing for a more reliable approach to collision avoidance.