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  • Writer's pictureSamiksha Jain

Starlink's Big Step: Direct-to-Cell Satellites Now in Space!

California, USA: SpaceX, a company run by Elon Musk, started 2024 with an exciting space mission. On January 2nd, at 10:44 p.m. EST, they launched 21 new Starlink satellites into space using their Falcon 9 rocket. This event happened at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

What's special about these satellites? Well, six of them are designed to connect directly to cell phones. This means people can use their smartphones to send texts, make calls, or browse the internet no matter where they are - even in remote areas or out at sea.

This service is great news for people who live in places where it's hard to get good internet. Now, they can stay connected using their regular mobile phones if their phone company works with Starlink's new service.

In addition to sending satellites into space, the launch had another successful moment. The Falcon 9 rocket, which carried the satellites, returned to Earth and landed perfectly on a droneship in the Pacific Ocean.

This launch is part of Starlink's big project to cover the whole world with fast and reliable internet. They have already launched over 5100 satellites and plan to send more. This could mean better internet for everyone, everywhere.


Q1. What are 'direct-to-cell' Starlink satellites?

A: 'Direct-to-cell' Starlink satellites are a special type of satellite launched by SpaceX. They are designed to connect directly with cell phones, allowing users to access satellite internet services on their smartphones without needing traditional ground-based cellular infrastructure. This technology enables people in remote or underserved areas to have reliable internet access on their mobile devices.

Q2. How do these satellites differ from regular Starlink satellites?

A: Regular Starlink satellites provide broadband internet by communicating with ground receivers, which then connect to user devices. In contrast, 'direct-to-cell' satellites eliminate the need for a ground receiver, connecting directly to cell phones.

Q3. Do I need a special phone to use this service?

No, you can use your existing smartphone as long as your mobile service provider is compatible with Starlink's service.

Q4. Will I need a special plan or subscription to use this service?

A: Yes, you will likely need a specific plan or subscription through a service provider that partners with Starlink for 'direct-to-cell' access.


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