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Sat, Jan 28, 2023

Starlink Expands Reach to McMurdo

SpaceX Takes up Task of Internet Provision for Antarctic Research Station

The National Science Foundation has begun relying upon SpaceX's Starlink internet service, allowing far better connection to the country's most far-flung research sites.

McMurdo Station, the epicenter of American Antarctic research, has been using the service since fall of last year, but expansions in uplink equipment has expanded Starlink's reach beyond the bounds of the large base camp.

The addition means that service has been opened up at far-flung sites like the Center for Oldest Ice Exploration, providing high-speed connectivity to places never before attempted.

The standard suite of SpaceX equipment can only go so far, of course, since the bulk of the constellation orbits over the populated areas of the globe. The polar regions, and even those at the more distant latitudes have been relying on an increasing degree of sat-to-sat laser transmission to relay their signals back to internet systems on the more equatorial mainland since last September.

The tech is advancing on that front too, as warnings to customers advised. Starlink warned clients that service was growing, expanding, and developing in real time, but like the rest of their network rollout seems to have gone, things have been smoother than expected - for an IT project, at least.

SpaceX has been picking up speed in launching its constellation, currently sitting in the neighborhood of 3,400 satellites out of a total projected array of almost 30,000 in all.



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