Scientists in Antarctica Have Access to Starlink Now. It’s Available on 7 Continents

SpaceX’s Starlink service is now available in Antarctica, according to a tweet from the National Science Foundation on the morning of September 14, stating, “NSF-supported USAP scientists in #Antarctica are over the moon! Starlink is testing polar service with a newly deployed user terminal at McMurdo Station. Increasing bandwidth and connectivity for service support.” SpaceX replied with a quote tweet saying, “Starlink is now available on all seven continents! In such a remote location like Antarctica, this capability is enabled by Starlink’s space laser network.”

This is an incredible milestone not only for SpaceX and the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, but for the whole of humanity, as the ability to provide satellite internet to the south pole is another indication that it can be provided anywhere in the world.

In the case of the McMurdo Station, which can house up to 1,000 personnel, Starlink will provide far better internet service to assist in scientific research performed at the bottom of the world, which has been a paltry 17 Mbps for everyone at the base. Since the Starlink terminals can handle 50-200 Mbps, this means the outbound flow of scientific data will greatly assist in the sharing of scientific knowledge to the rest of the world.

The goal of SpaceX’s Starlink is to provide worldwide internet with its constellation of satellites in orbit around the Earth, which currently numbers around 3,000 functioning satellites with SpaceX’s most recent launch of 52 on September 24. The private space company was given permission by the US Federal Communications Commission to launch 12,000 satellites into orbit, so SpaceX has a while until it reaches this goal.

While Starlink has garnered criticism for allegedly ruining the night sky with its large number of satellites currently in orbit, this hasn’t stopped the largest private space company in the world from shouldering forth, as noted by this most recent introduction of satellite internet to Antarctica.

How will satellite internet affect scientific research in Antarctica, and where will this incredible technology next become available in the world? Only time will tell, and this is why we science!

As always, keep doing science & keep looking up!

Featured Image: McMurdo Station in Antarctica with a flat-looking Starlink terminal located to the right of the roof’s peak. (Credit: National Science Foundation)

Laurence Tognetti

Laurence Tognetti is a six-year USAF Veteran who earned both a BSc and MSc from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Laurence is extremely passionate about outer space and science communication, and is the author of “Outer Solar System Moons: Your Personal 3D Journey”. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ET_Exists.

Recent Posts

Colliding Neutron Stars can Generate Long Gamma-ray Bursts

Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic recurring events in the Universe. Only the Big…

4 hours ago

“Early Dark Energy” Could Explain the Crisis in Cosmology

A new study considers how the presence of Early Dark Energy could help resolve one…

5 hours ago

How Artificial Intelligence Can Find the Source of Gamma-Ray Bursts

Gamma-ray bursts come in two main flavors, short and long. While astronomers believe that they…

5 hours ago

The Geminids Will be Peaking on December 14th. They’re Usually the Most Active Meteor Shower Every Year

Meteor showers are a great way to share a love of astronomy with those who…

7 hours ago

A Star was Blocking a Galaxy, but Now it’s Moved Enough That Astronomers can Finally Examine What it Was Hiding

One of the biggest puzzles in astronomy, and one of the hardest ones to solve,…

9 hours ago

Will We Ever Go Back to Explore the Ice Giants? Yes, If We Keep the Missions Simple and Affordable

It's been over 35 years since a spacecraft visited Uranus and Neptune. That was Voyager…

1 day ago