Starlink is getting more and more competition

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Satellites to provide internet are growing at a “worrying” rate. It is the adjective used by NASA to describe the rise of these initiatives. The best known is SpaceX’s Starlink, but it will be increasingly accompanied.

If by the end of this 2022 Amazon is expected to start testing its satellites, we have now learned about two other powerful initiatives such as those of Chinese and European origin. This is what we know about them.

GalaxySpace, the Chinese response with 5G Through the company GalaxySpace, China plans to launch up to 1,000 low-orbit satellites. According reports the Xinhua agency, the first six satellites would have already been produced, tested and would be at the launch site, not officially communicated. GalaxySpace is a Chinese startup specialized in 5G coverage and its goal is to produce at least six satellites a day.

Currently Starlink has about 2,000 satellites and, as confirmed by Elon Musk, has about 250,000 users. The North American company offers up to 110 Mbps. In contrast, GalaxySpace hopes to offer 5G connectivity with download speeds of up to 500 Mbps. These are maximum theoretical speeds, but according to GalaxySpace they could maintain about 80 Mbps even in bad weather conditions.

China promised changes in its satellites before the advance of Starlink. China has been launching internet satellites since at least 2018. They are the Hongyan and Hongyun projects, owned by the ‘China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The initial goal was to launch some 324 and 157 satellites respectively, but in 2021, with the rise of Space X, Chinese administrations decided make “big changes” to your projects.

It is not clear what kind of changes, but the launch of GalaxySpace and its ambitions, up to three times greater than the initial ones, can be a sample. However, these 1,000 Chinese satellites are still behind the more than 2,000 Starlink satellites and of the 42,000 satellites that Elon Musk’s company plans to launch over the next few decades.

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China wants to deal with the US on the regulation of these satellites. The Chinese administration is in contact with the US to discuss the use of space, after a pair of Starlink satellites approached a Chinese station and had to maneuver to avoid a crash. From China they complained to the UN, but from the United States deny this success.

The European Union prepares to present its multimillion-dollar project. Along with private initiatives such as Amazon or SpaceX or movements from China, the European Union does not want to be left behind either. The European Commission has presented its proposal to regulate space traffic, including an assessment of spacecraft and debris tracking and new rules to improve sustainability.

After Galileo and Copernicus, LEO would arrive. as described Financial Times, the European Union is preparing to launch a satellite system for the internet with an investment of billions of euros. It would be the LEO (‘lower earth orbit’) system, as a complement to Galileo (GPS’s rival) and Copernicus (terrestrial observation).

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This new satellite system would offer coverage in Europe and Africa and would also serve as complementary help to deal with cyber attacks. “Europe needs its own constellation of satellites and not depend on the Americans and the Chinese”, he insured Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Interior of the European Union and one of the greatest promoters of the different digital sovereignty initiatives in Europe.

At the moment there are no details about the number of satellites that Europe is preparing, but the European Commission has contracted companies such as Airbus, SES and Eutelsat to study their deployment.

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Satellites to provide internet are growing at a “worrying” rate. It is the adjective used by NASA to describe the…

Satellites to provide internet are growing at a “worrying” rate. It is the adjective used by NASA to describe the…

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