It turns out that Wellington CBD and Mount Victoria close to where I live is prime viewing for the Tesla Starlink Satellites as they cruise through the sky after dark.
Blink and you’ll miss it though. It’s all over in about 2 minutes. They rocket past in a straight line and look alien-like and unmistakably different from the rest of the night sky as they rocket past.
Track Starlink and other satellites from your place
Know what time to duck out of your house for a look at the sky using this app by James Darpinian.
Prime viewing of Skylink from our area
What is Starlink?
Low cost ($30 USD per month) global broadband that is a available everywhere, planet-wide and not relating to a particular ISP in a particular country. The internet will be triangulated through the satellites located all over the earth at comparitively low orbit (in comparison to existing GPS satellites). Internet speed will be similar to what you get on cable or ADSL with speeds of around 1GB per second. So it’s not as good as fibre, but it’s good enough to stream video at low quality, answer emails, etc. It will deliver internet for the first time to the most remote places on earth, including over all of the oceans.
Distance from earth: A low earth orbit of 335.9 to 1,325km above the surface of the Earth. The current batch of Starlink Satellites visible from Wellington are 550km above the earth.
Cost: Approximately $10bn USD for the whole project.
Number: 11,927 satellites (300 deployed so far)
Weight: Each satellite weighs approximately 266kg.
Able to autonomously avoid collision by using data from the US Department of Defence.
Concerns: Only 2,000 satellites are currently in orbit and only 9,000 have ever been launched into the sky. Therefore, having almost 12,000 satellites up there at once does bother people. Astronomers and night photographers are bemoaning the likelihood of space junk obscuring the stars and night sky.
Revenue: Global internet subscriptions to Starlink are estimated to earn $3 trillion, which is going to be used to fund the Mars colonisation mission.
Space.com SpaceX’s Satellite Internet Project
9 thoughts on “Welcome to Starlink Express brought to you by Elon Musk!”
Friend of the family spotted them going over a night ago, and wondered if her eyes were playing up! Kind of dramatic, but I hope the sky is not going to fill with these things….
Yeah me too, but it may be the case that there will be a lot of them visible. 11,927 satellites to be exact, so they will be floating around a lot, and obscuring the stars. 😦
Geez what a story! Incredible stuff.
What’s the time frame on this? Can’t be soon. Wonder how many satellites can be on the same flight?
There is about 300 currently released but about the ones going over NZ currently who knows? We saw about 30 but according to that link in my blog post there are loads more, just not visible because of light pollution. I am thinking of going to Dunners and viewing them from there as it’s virtually no light pollution down there. There may be some visible in your area too, Maybe check the satellite website 😁
What is your opinion on the satellites? Also, what is your opinion on Elon himself?
I like universally available internet, but I don’t necessarily like the idea of the satellites clogging up the night sky. I think Elon is a pioneer, a genius, but also from interviews, he’s a likeable nerd with a good sense of humour, especially when he has a joint.
Ty what do you make of it all?
I agree with you. I think the work he has done not just in the space sector (reusable thrusters, bigger payloads, etc.) Is amazing but also his work in the electric vehicle field is great as well. The guy takes the doubt that people throw at him and uses it to do amazing things and change the world. With that said, that’s a lot of satellites! Obviously, the concept is brilliant and he has the resources to accomplish this. I think it would be much better if he made less satellites but made them much more capable than the ones he has in the sky right now.
I definitely agree with you there! Hopefully he finesses the whole thing so that it means less will need to be launched in the future