Elon Musk, the illustrious genius behind SpaceX, recently pushed forward the launch of his new project, Starlink. Already, 700,000 individuals all across the United States of America showed an interest in this new service. Needless to say, this move has gained the giddy gaze of many – in America, and across the globe.
“We’re really talking about something which is, in the long term, like rebuilding the internet in space,” said Elon Musk during a speech in Seattle when he disclosed details regarding Starlink.
For once, Musk is not exaggerating. By the end of 2021, twelve thousand small satellites, each barely 500lbs, will be beaming high-speed internet connections (currently up to 600 Mbps) at incredibly low costs all around the globe.
From space tourism, A.I, and human-brain interferences, humankind is exploring every aspect of the unknown all at one time, for the first time. We are laying plans of the most astronomical levels, and have paved the way for a technological revolution, the effects of which could be equally transformative. It is, thus, no surprise that many people look at these advances with a magnified and skeptical perspective.
What does the future hold?
Now as much as the phenomenal speeds of Musk’s inventions leave us scratching our heads, we all know what to expect from him, and at this point, all we can do is wait and prepare for the big launch.
Starlink will have significant effects on communications and technology. With this cosmic new service, we most definitely will not need inefficient wired service providers; others speculate that there may also be no need for any sort of cellular service at all. Entire companies, their workers, and their respective industries will suffer heavily due to this innovation and may have to shut down.
Pakistan seems to be at the front step already, as the timing of Starlink’s program is ideal for their current initiative on combating cyber-crime with improved technologies. Karachi will first see the launch of the first Starlink office and then later Islamabad.
Is it harmful for the environment?
The answer is probably not. In terms of radiation to humans, there is not any harm; however, there is no guarantee that the satellites won’t affect our view of the environment. Surprisingly large numbers of astronomers do not seem convinced, and their concerns may have justifications. A large number of satellites, each equipped with a solar panel, may obscure the night sky and interrupt daily studies.
“I am confident that we will not cause any impact whatsoever, in astronomical studies,” was Musk’s response.
For the most part, Starlink will be beneficial; Musk plans to widen his goal and launch even more satellites. Starlink only looks to improve. As for the rest of us, the possibilities are endless; you can use it any way you like, there are no restrictions. The Internet will be cheaper, faster, and simpler to use. A massive influx of new users joining the globalized digital network will redefine the meaning of digital life. Some may argue that the impact of this will parallel the impact of the Internet when it first hit the mainstream.
If Starlink succeeds, the company will increase its target to a $1 trillion total addressable market. Morgan Stanley recently said that if Starlink exceeds expectations, SpaceX’s valuation could reach as high as a whopping $175 billion.