After today’s launch, SpaceX has put more than 700 satellites in orbit, more than the 400 needed to provide “initial operational capability,” according to Musk, and close to the 800 needed to provide “significant operational capabilities. ” This summer, SpaceX began early beta testing of the constellation, with employees using Starlink to test out the download speeds. “The Starlink team has been collecting latency statistics and performing standard speed tests of the system,” Kate Tice, senior program reliability engineer at SpaceX, said during the launch broadcast today. “This means that we’re checking how fast data travels from the satellites to our customers, and then back to the rest of the internet.
During the launch of its latest batch of internet-beaming Starlink satellites, SpaceX revealed key details about the planned constellation’s abilities, claiming that the satellites have shown “super low latency and download speeds greater than 100 mbps. ” The speeds are still not as fast as what SpaceX originally claimed for the constellation, but they are slightly faster than what early user testing has shown.