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SpaceX Starlink beta test details emerge

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During a July 2017 event, Musk said that “I do think getting good at digging tunnels could be really helpful for Mars,” adding that “you can build a tremendous amount underground with the right boring technology on Mars.” Musk also highlighted ice mining as a good use.

Starlink starts taking addresses and Crew Dragon prepares to return home. The Boring Company on Mars? It’s Musk Reads: SpaceX Edition #187.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk quote of the week

“Congratulations MHI & UAE!”

SpaceX Starlink

Starlink, SpaceX’s internet connectivity constellation that promises high speeds and low latency in remote areas, is getting closer. Last week saw the unveiling of several key details after a website update. A new has revealed several important details about the beta expected to take place later this year.

  • It will start with the Northern United States and lower Canada, starting with rural and remote communities in the Washington state area. Users will need to have a clear view of the northern sky.
  • The constellation can currently provide service between 44 and 52 degrees latitude.
  • The beta service will be nearly free, bar a $1 charge to test the billing system.
  • Users will have to answer short surveys over an eight-week period.
  • The service probably won’t be as consistent as the final version. SpaceX warns that it probably won’t be suitable for work or video games as the team continues to optimize the network.
  • You will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which means you can’t publicly share your experiences. The dedicated has a message from the moderators claiming they have already received multiple takedown requests relating to non-disclosure agreements.

Last week, SpaceX also started taking more detailed addresses for participants. Interested parties can .

What’s next for SpaceX: SpaceX is set to launch the South Korean military satellite on July 20 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This mission will use the same booster that sent NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station in May. The company’s previously scheduled has been delayed and currently has no new launch date.

In other Musk news…

Musk Reads mailroom

Charles Cleveland writes:

Maybe the Boring Company could add a new twist to colonizing Mars, send up a boring machine and alot of solar panels to charge its batteries and make tunnels for living quarters. Could first be used to mine ice to help make the concrete for the future tunnels, and with any luck, the water will be potable.

Musk himself has suggested the same thing. During a July 2017 event, Musk said that “I do think getting good at digging tunnels could be really helpful for Mars,” adding that “you can build a tremendous amount underground with the right boring technology on Mars.” Musk also highlighted ice mining as a good use. Perhaps one to watch?

Wendell Brown writes:

How much [will Starlink cost]? And will I be able to get the internet here in Gary, In?

Pricing is still unclear, but the beta test costs a one-off payment of $1. During the beta test you’ll need a clear view of the northern sky, and you’ll need to be within the 44 and 52 degrees latitude. That suggests, unfortunately, that you’ll have to wait until after the beta test for expanded coverage.

Got any comments or queries? Don’t forget to send them over to [email protected]

Photo of the week

The SpaceX Starlink terminal.

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