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Why is Elon Musk launching thousands of satellites?



Elon Musk's SpaceX company has been launching thousands of satellites into orbit. Many people say they've seen them in the skies.

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They're part of the Starlink project, which aims to provide high speed internet services from space, to remote areas on Earth.

What is Starlink and how does it work?
Starlink provides internet services via a huge network of satellites.

It is aimed at people who live in remote areas who cannot get high-speed internet.

"There are people in the UK in that category, but more across the world, in places like Africa," says Dr Lucinda King, Space Projects Manager at the University of Portsmouth.

Starlink's satellites have been put in low-level orbit around the Earth to make connection speeds between the satellites and the ground as fast as possible.

How much does Starlink cost and who will use it?
Compared to standard internet providers, Starlink isn't cheap.

It charges customers $99 per month (£89 per month in the UK). The dish and router needed to connect to the satellites costs $549 (£529 in the UK).

However, 96% of households in the UK already have access to high-speed internet, as do 90% of households in the EU and the US.

"Most of the developed world is already well connected," says Professor Sa'id Mosteshar of London University's Institute of Space Policy and Law. "They're relying on a small share of the market for revenues."

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