The Abstract Podcast

Everything you wanted to know about Starlink (but were afraid to ask)

In this episode, we take a comprehensive look at everything you need to know about getting your internet from Elon Musk.

Ian Forsyth / Contributor / Getty Images

One day, high-speed internet will be delivered to pizza box-shaped devices in homes everywhere, and Elon Musk will be satisfied. If the SpaceX CEO has it his way, Starlink, the SpaceX satellite, will be the biggest satellite constellation in human history.

Applying for permission from the FCC to launch as many as 42,000 satellites into orbit, the internet connectivity constellation designed for super-fast, low-latency broadband service is being put together at a rapid speed. As of June 2020, SpaceX has successfully deployed 60 more Starlink internet satellites into orbit, bringing the total number to 480.

With Musk suggesting the constellation could fund more ambitious projects, like building a city on Mars, SpaceX continues to reach for the stars — and at a fast pace. (You’ll need to keep up.) Luckily, we have everything you need to know about getting your internet from Elon Musk covered.

In this episode of The Abstract, we take a comprehensive look at everything you need to know about getting your internet from Elon Musk.

Our first story is a comprehensive look at SpaceX’s Starlink satellite mega constellation. Made to beam down access to the internet from space, the project’s objective is to bring affordable high-speed service to customers around the world, particularly in remote or under-served areas. As an intrigued public grows more interested in the idea of getting the internet from “thin, flat, round UFO on a stick,” we offer a one-stop-shop for the curious and a guide to seeing the constellation for yourself.

Our second story takes a closer look at Starlink's effect on astronomy. If you ask some irritated scientists, they’ll probably tell you that Starlink is all too easy to spot in the sky. With so many satellites in orbit, SpaceX has come under fire from astronomers who say the constellations could affect up to half of all exposures from observatories. It’s yet to be seen if the company prefers its own ambitions over those of the scientists here on Earth — but until then, its SpaceX versus space science.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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