Next SpaceX Starlink Satellites Will Have Communication Lasers

SpaceX is adding laser crosslinks to Starlink satellites. These links allow satellites to transfer information to one another and communicate in other ways as well.

SpaceX will use lasers to communicate between satellites in space and reduce the use of ground stations. This will allow satellite internet coverage to reach areas where ground stations cannot be built and will reduce latency time. Latency time is the delays getting the start of a communication.

SpaceX had paused Starlink launches for two months to complete work on the laser upgrades for new satellites. The next SpaceX Starlink launch should be in three weeks.

SpaceX is also lowering the cost of the Starlink dishes. They will cut the $499 of the dish and installation in half. The dishes should get even cheaper next year.

There are delays in Starlink dishes and installations because of chip shortages. There are delays for launches because of a shortage of liquid oxygen. Vast amounts of liquid oxygen is needed for COVID patients.

Written by Brian Wang

8 thoughts on “Next SpaceX Starlink Satellites Will Have Communication Lasers”

  1. "Vast amounts of liquid oxygen is needed for COVID patients." I don't think liquid oxygen in used in medical settings. Oxygen is usually extracted onsite from the air, or it's compressed gas in bottles.

  2. Musk could put a few tens of Watts steerable lasers on each, telling it's required for 'future upgrades' , add cameras on the sats and then sell it as a sneaky evaporation weapon finding and tracking targets on the ground in real time, and offing them with concentrated light as soon as they show up outside.

    LOL, yeah, there's no way that couldn't be seen by China and Russia, but it makes for a good conspiracy theory plot.

  3. Part of the Starlink launch campaign lull is also due to KSC eastern range maintenance windows, which SpaceX also used to put their droneship in drydock for maintenance.

  4. But Kimhi, we have always been caged. Let us taste the signals from the inter-cage and dream that it is freedom.


    It’s not clear from Gwynne Shotwell’s comments whether the $499 price will be cut. She used the word cost and we know that SpaceX’s cost was recently MUCH higher than $500. Cutting that in half would STILL leave it above the price. Cutting it in half again would put it in a normal range for a $499 price. Cutting prices a little and gradually might make sense after recovering some of the losses.

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