Earlier in 2019, Elon Musk announced his company SpaceX’s plan to bring low-cost, high-quality consumer internet to the masses via “Starlink”, a space-based internet comm system. As of May 23rd, 2019, sixty Starlink satellites are planted in earths’ orbit with an estimated end goal of 12,000. By the thirtieth Falcon 9 (shuttle used to house satellites for blast-off) launch, Musk estimates 1,800 Starlink satellites will be in low-Earth orbit (LEO); That number alone would make up about one third of the active artificial satellites in space total. Bring that number to the end result of around 12,000 satellites and SpaceX would completely consume the previous amount of satellites in space.
To refocus, the plan SpaceX intends to enact with Starlink will revolutionize the way the world is connected on an international scale; Brown County folks could communicate with individuals all the way across the globe faster than any fiber-optic/broadband link could ever hope to achieve.
The worry of space debris/clutter is null, as satellites are being stationed close enough to Earth that the atmosphere will keep them pulled in LEO until they would eventually return to Earth’s surface years down the road. On that subject, Musk stated “I think we’ve got a real solution for making sure that we do not create orbital debris and, worst-case scenario — the good news is, the atmosphere cleans it up.” To further sweeten the deal, Musk assured the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) that the Starlink satellites are equipped with the tech necessary to navigate around other satellites in LEO, eliminating the concern of collision.
SpaceX has and continues to aim to expand the technological advances of humankind, and push the thresholds of what is capable. Thankfully, consumers can reap the rewards of the scientific advancements.