San Francisco: Elon Musk's SpaceX has made it to Antarctica and the National Science Foundation (NSF) is testing one of its Starlink internet terminals at one of the most exteme locations in the world.
The McMurdo Station at Antartica has nearly 1,000 people living and working there during the summer and they already have satellite internet which is not reliable in rough conditions.
There is currently a 17 Mbps link for everone, according to the United States Antarctic Programme. But with Starlink, the internet service will be better and not patchy like earlier.
After its race with OneWeb to cover the North Pole and other Arctic areas with satellite internet, SpaceX has made it to the other extreme: the National Science Foundation (or NSF) is testing out one of its Starlink terminals at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The NSF says the increased bandwidth will help scientists working on the remote continent near the South Pole.
"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 science support," the NSF said in a tweet.
The McMurdo Station blocks scientists from using Netflix and video calls, with the exception of Skype or FaceTime sessions once a week at a public kiosk or mission-critical communications, reports The Verge.
Starlink can offer speed around 50-200 Mbps. "Starlink is now on all seven continents! In such a remote location like Antarctica, this capability is enabled by Starlink's space laser network," tweeted Starlink.
Earlier this month, SpaceX successfully deployed 51 more Starlink satellites in space, completing its 40th mission so far this year. Musk recently said that SpaceX is launching Starlink satellites nearly every five days now and plans to launch 100 orbital missions in 2023. Royal Caribbean Group recently became the first in the global cruise industry to adopt SpaceX Starlink's high-speed, low-latency Internet services for a better onboard experience for guests and crew. —IANS