Starlink had asked the US FCC for substantial new aid of $885.5 million. But the agency finally decided to block the funds, angering the entrepreneur. Elon Musk’s firm therefore logically decided to appeal. But the firm’s arguments seem somewhat exaggerated.
And in many ways, on top of that. First, we note that Elon Musk has said and repeated many times his aversion to state aid. A position that fits a priori with his libertarian convictions. Last year, the entrepreneur launched for example: “I literally say to remove all state aid. But in this case, it must also be done for oil and gas”.
Elon Musk calls latest FCC denial ‘unfair’
However, we note a first enormous paradox. His companies, in particular Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity have been largely helped by public funds since their launch. In a 2015 article, the Los Angeles Times reported that these three firms had benefited from 4.9 billion dollars in the form of public aid.
In 2021, Elon Musk criticized Joe Biden for his plan for electric vehicles and the financial aid provided for by the text. In 2022, an analyst firm discovered that Tesla sold 6 billion in tax credits – which could have boosted the manufacturer’s results.
In this case, the FCC refused Starlink funds from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which should be used to better connect rural areas to the Internet in the United States. For Starlink’s lawyers, the FCC’s decision “is tainted with irregularities both from a legal and political point of view”.
The firm believes that it has “proven capacities” which correspond “to the rules of the program”, and accuses the commission of having “draw additional information somewhere on the internet” and of basing its argument on “conjectures which lack support”.
Further, SpaceX launches: “Changing the rules to undo prior policy is grossly unfair after investing thousands of hours of paid labor and millions of dollars spent to meet program obligations on the reasonable assumption that its rules impartially”.
Elon Musk’s satellites sow discord among Libyan militias
A trail of luminous objects flying at the same speed, at low altitude, and which were seen with the naked eye in the Libyan sky during the night from Monday to Tuesday, unleashed various speculations on the origin and the nature of these bodies. Many Libyans have shared images and videos of this luminous trail which, at first glance, looked like a salvo of missiles. Some still don’t believe they were satellites launched by billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.
Elon Musk’s Starlink project aims to install an internet and telephone connection of a somewhat particular and less expensive kind: it is a question of providing a connection which passes through space, via communication satellites.
It is his company SpaceX which is in charge of the project and which will provide Internet access by satellite to 40 countries. It aims for global coverage with a personal communications satellite service which should be operational after 2023. Nearly 12,000 satellites will be launched in total as part of this project.
The sight, therefore, for the first time of this luminous trail of 34 satellites largely occupied the Libyans.
The Center for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences was forced to issue an official statement explaining the subject and stating that further satellite launches will take place. But some militias were not willing to believe it despite these explanations. They remained convinced that they were drones from rival militias which aimed to film their position and spy on them.
The trail was also seen in other countries such as Italy, France or Lebanon.
The Libyan capital is still experiencing extreme tension after fighting last month between the forces of two opposing governments which left many victims.
Internet arrives in Antarctica with SpaceX and its Starlink satellites
SpaceX has deployed a Starlink antenna in Antarctica. The satellite Internet service provider now offers a polar service. This is currently being tested at the McMurdo Antarctic base.
After the luxury cruise ships that benefit from a high-speed Internet connection thanks to Starlink, it’s the turn Antarctic scientists and researchers to take advantage of it. SpaceX has actually deployed a Starlink antenna at McMurdo, an American Antarctic base. It is located in the south of Ross Island. It is a very important logistics port that covers half of the continent.
The satellite Internet service provider is thus in the process of testing a polar service. SpaceX’s goal is to provide high-speed Internet connection in all rural and isolated areas of the planet. SpaceX’s constellation is currently made up of just over 3,200 satellites in low orbit. It has not even reached its final size yet since Elon Musk’s aerospace company has authorization to launch 12,000. SpaceX also recently asked an international regulator to put 30,000 additional satellites in orbit.
Starlink is now available on all 7 continents
The National Science Foundation tweeted that: “USAP scientists supported by NSF in Antarctica are over the moon! Starlink is testing polar service with a newly deployed user terminal at McMurdo Station, increasing bandwidth and connectivity to aid science.”
A Starlink antenna which also works on vehicles launched at 130 km/h has been deployed for the moment. Starlink connectivity in polar conditions should be tested and verified first before extending coverage. Moreover, SpaceX also celebrated this event. “Starlink is now on all seven continents. In a place as remote as Antarctica, this capability is enabled by Starlink’s laser space network,” the company tweeted. SpaceX has effectively deployed to orbit new satellites with laser connectivity. Their objective is to improve the speeds offered. For example, astronauts could use these laser satellites to access the Internet more easily and quickly. SpaceX’s next goal is to launch next year Starlink Version 2 satellites. Larger and more efficient than current satellites, they should be able to offer an Internet connection directly to smartphones.