The new images found in the code of SpaceX’s Starlink website show the company’s future user satellite terminal’s official appearance-customers will use these antennas to take advantage of the huge space satellite network SpaceX is building. As SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once described, the white disk-shaped device does indeed look like a “flying saucer on a stick.”
After replying to the user who posted the picture, Musk seemed to confirm that the picture on the user’s terminal was true on Twitter. He said: “Starlink terminals have motors that can be automatically oriented to achieve the best viewing angle.”
SpaceX did not respond to official requests for comment.
These user terminals are a key part of the SpaceX Starlink plan, which aims to provide global Internet coverage from space. The company has obtained permission from the Federal Communications Commission to send nearly 12,000 Starlink satellites into orbit around the earth. The spacecraft will cover the earth and connect to its lower surface via broadband Internet. In order to utilize the satellite system, customers will need to purchase these small “UFO” to receive broadband signals from the satellite and connect to the Internet.
So far, SpaceX has put nearly 600 Starlink satellites into orbit. However, Musk claimed that SpaceX only needs 400 satellites to provide the “initial combat capability”, and then 800 satellites to achieve the “important combat capability.” SpaceX has been launching about 60 spacecraft in batches, launching its Starlink satellite, and plans to launch it again in the next few days or weeks.
At the same time, SpaceX is about to launch the Starlink Beta version, which will allow early approved users to test earlier versions of the system. In June, SpaceX updated its Starlink website, allowing interested potential customers to register to receive updates about the program and understand the availability in their region. When people provided postal codes and contact information, they received an email from SpaceX, saying that private beta testing is expected to begin “later this summer”, followed by a public beta test in high-altitude areas.
Now that we have further investigated the code on the Starlink website, we have further understood how this private Beta program works. A Reddit user /u/Bubby4j found the “Terms of Service” of the private Beta program and the FAQ page for early users. edge Confirm that the text and images are available, but have been hidden on the Starlink website. The code shows that SpaceX plans to provide Beta testers with a “Starlink kit,” which will consist of one of the Starlink dish terminals, a Wi-Fi router, power supply, and system bracket. Users will have to install the terminal themselves and place it in a “place where the sky in the north can be clearly seen.” The code shows a PDF of the installation guide, but it is currently blank.
By accepting the kit, users must agree to test the Starlink system between 30 minutes and one hour a day, and provide SpaceX with feedback about their experience. They must also agree to keep their experience confidential. The website states: “Unless they are SpaceX employees, you may not discuss your participation in the Beta program online or with family members.”
The FAQ page shows more detailed information about what users might expect and how to use their terminal. SpaceX claims that the Beta program will begin in the northern United States and southern Canada, starting with people living in rural communities in Washington State. Beta testers do not have to pay for the terminal, although they need to pay a $1 fee to test SpaceX’s billing system. The company also pointed out that the Internet connection may not be so smooth at first.
“During the Starlink Beta, as the team works to optimize the network, the service will be intermittent,” SpaceX said on the website. “After connecting, your service quality will be high, but the connection will be inconsistent. This means it may support streaming video with some buffering, but may not be suitable for gaming or work purposes.”
Since all this information is code from the Starlink website, this information may change. At the same time, users who did register for updates on the Starlink website recently received an email asking for their address to enable SpaceX to improve its “ability to provide location-specific updates as our network grows.”