SpaceX’s Starlink high-speed internet is already being tested. It can be used by the U.S. Air Force, the company’s operational director Gwynne Shotwell stated.
The U.S. Air Force began working with SpaceX back in 2018 under the Lightning program. As part of a pilot project, SpaceX transmitted data to military helicopters from satellites at a speed of 610 Mbit/s.
Details of a possible contract have not yet been disclosed, as well as the technical features of the project. SpaceX recently asked the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for permission to launch an additional 30,000 communications satellites into orbit for the Starlink global Internet distribution project.
If SpaceX gets permission, 42 thousand vehicles will be in orbit. This is five times more than the total number of satellites in Earth orbit since 1957.
The request states that the satellites will be placed at an altitude of 328-580 km above the Earth’s surface. The terms of the project are not told.