Although SpaceX’s project Starlink has been criticized by astronomers for putting 12,000 small satellites around Earth’s orbit, Elon Musk has revealed that the project will serve as a method for ‘space internet’ as it will link network from here on Earth to Mars.
Signal transmissions have always been major concern for scientists as the process takes painfully long with our current technology. For instance, a signal from here on Earth would take about 24 minutes to reach Mars. As the colonists on Mars would require their own internet, Musk said that the satellites of Starlink project would serve as backbone of the infrastructure.
Musk said, “We could use the Starlink structure and leverage it to put an internet system on Mars. We are going to need high bandwidth communications between Earth and Mars and the Starlink system will provide this.”
Musk also revealed that the satellites would also create a global Mars GPS system which will assist those who will be exploring the planet.
Mush continued, “Mars is actually a comparatively easy place to establish a local internet because you wouldn’t have to be living everywhere on Mars.”
“So, you really just need maybe four satellites to have global coverage because of how sparse that civilization will be on Mars.”
“You would then need some relay satellites to get (data) back to Earth, particularly when Mars is on the other side of the Sun. You need to sort of bounce it over a relay satellite. You couldn’t communicate directly with Mars from Earth.”
However, astronomers have already shared their concerns that these satellites would contribute heavily towards light pollution as they orbit around Earth. As a result, future space research might be impacted by the project.