Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s (SpaceX) Starlink satellite internet constellation suffered a global outage earlier today. Starlink uses Internet satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to provide Internet coverage to its users, and the service has managed to expand its presence to countries outside of the United States in a short time. Earlier today, several Starlink users on social media platform Reddit reported that the service had stopped working for them. These reports, according to the users themselves, came from all over the world, with the outage appearing to be brief and over in less than half an hour.
Starlink users from US, UK, New Zealand, Canada and other countries report brief service outage
The reported outage occurred approximately four hours ago, early morning Eastern Time. Whether it was planned or not is uncertain, but the timing suggests the former, given that it took place at a time when most users, at least on the US East Coast, would probably be asleep.
According to details, shared on two Reddit threads, the disruption resulted in Starlink terminals being blocked and unable to connect to orbiting satellites. Additionally, SpaceX appeared to be aware of the issues, with users reporting that the Starlink app promised to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
According to comments made on the main thread, users affected by the outage spanned multiple countries. These include the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and Portugal. Additionally, several US states, including Colorado and Washington, were also affected by the disruption.
However, the outage was short-lived as most users were also quick to report that services resumed shortly after user terminals failed to connect to satellites. While some of them pointed out that a simple quick reboot of the terminal did the trick for them, most reports described a downtime of around thirty minutes.
Thanks to a rapid launch rate thanks to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Starlink quickly managed to deploy nearly two thousand satellites into orbit. This allowed it to establish a global presence soon after it started accepting pre-orders and making deliveries to its users. Even though the internet service caters to hundreds of thousands of users worldwide, its backlog of pre-orders is higher, with SpaceX forced to make shipments of terminals and user gear for a myriad of reasons.
However, despite being the world’s only LEO satellite internet constellation operator, Starlink plans to rapidly expand its constellation over the next two years. On that front, it plans to use SpaceX’s next-generation Starship rocket. Starship is much larger than the Falcon 9, and if Starlink is able to launch its satellites with it, then it will place multiple Falcon 9 launches of starships into orbit in one go.
The plan, currently being debated at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), comes just in time as a potential rival plans to establish its own rapid launch cadence. Amazon’s satellite internet arm, Kuiper, has announced plans for 83 launches over the next two years with rockets larger than the Falcon 9. The announcement is crucial as it signals the company’s confidence in its satellite manufacturing capabilities. SpaceX, on the other hand, is currently awaiting Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) approval for its Starship launch site in Texas, after which the company will be able to apply for a launch license and begin starship flights. Starship orbital test.