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Elon Musk: Here are SpaceX’s first 60 Starlink internet-beaming satellites

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SpaceX to launch space internet satellites
Falcon 9 is getting ready to take its first two Starlink internet satellites into orbit this Wednesday. Read more: http://zd.net/2BvqpA5

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has used Twitter to tease the imminent launch of the first batch of low Earth orbit satellites for providing broadband to humans across the planet.     

Musk is betting that his SpaceX Starlink constellation of around 12,000 satellites will be able to deliver high-speed internet to people at an affordable price.   

Musk on Sunday showed off images of some of the first 60 satellites that SpaceX will launch into space this week, probably on Wednesday, inside a Falcon 9 rocket.  

SEE: Tech budgets 2019: A CXO’s guide (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Musk has predicted the network will be able to go live in the mid-2020s once about 800 satellites have been launched. The network will eventually consist of around 12,000 satellites that would deliver 1Gbps speeds to users on Earth.

In April, US regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX’s plan to launch 4,409 Starlink satellites with 1,584 orbiting at an altitude of 550km rather than the previous request of 1,150km. The FCC also approved over 7,000 additional Starlink satellites in November.   

Musk noted that the 60 satellites to be launched this week are “production design”, unlike its Tintin A and B demo satellites that were launched early last year. 

The plan is that thousands of small satellites will form a mesh network that will use V band, which covers 40GHz to 75GHz, to connect with each other. They’ll use Ka/Ku radio bands to deliver internet to receivers on Earth.

Other firms in the broadband space race include Kepler, Telesat Canada, LeoSat, and Amazon CEO’s Blue Origin.

Musk warned that “much will likely go wrong” on the first mission and that for “moderate” coverage, SpaceX would need 12 successful missions with about 60 satellites each to total 760 satellites. 

This week’s launch won’t become part of the actual Starlink mesh network. While the 60 satellites are production design, as Spacenews reports, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell last week said they were still demonstration satellites that are missing the equipment to link up as a mesh network. 

Amazon is currently known to be planning to put 3,236 internet-beaming satellites into low Earth orbit, with 784 at 367 miles (590km), 1,296 at 379 miles (610km), and 1,156 at 391 miles (630km).   

More on Elon Musk, SpaceX, and networking 



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The 12 Cheapest Productions Cars Ever Made

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Nobody said that a cheap car must be a terrible one, and the Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle is proof. Created before WWII and put into production under British management after the war, the VW Beetle went on to be one of the best-selling cars of all time, according to Autoweek. They are basic, small, and austere, but dependable, capable, and enjoyable cars to many.

The genesis of the car was in the idea of producing a “people’s car” for the German public, something the average German could afford to buy and use on the newly laid Autobahn highways. With plans interrupted by the war, German industry had been decimated and also needed economic activity to rebuild. Volkswagen commenced production to get its people behind the wheel, but also exported the cars to increase much-needed trade, and it became a success (via Hemmings).

In developed markets where the VW sold, it was often the cheapest car available. Thanks to its simple design and robust engine, people took millions of them home, even creating subcultures of fanatical drivers, and it continued to be made in 2003 in Mexico.

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Elon Musk Made This Video Game When He Was 12 Years Old. Here’s How You Can Play It

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In 1995, Musk was on his second day at Stanford University when he and his brother abruptly dropped out, dove into Silicon Valley’s emerging Internet boom, and started Zip2. This company provided city travel guide information to prominent online newspapers. Four years later, Compaq Computer Corporation bought that company for $307 million in cold hard cash and another $34 million worth of stock options (via Biography).

He immediately took that money and co-founded the online bank X.com, which later consolidated with Confinity to become PayPal (via Business Insider). In 2002, eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion. Musk pocketed around $175 million from that venture, turned around, and created SpaceX. See the pattern?

Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971. When he was young, his parents feared that he had a hearing problem (via Biography), but it wasn’t that he was intentionally ignoring them. Instead, he was getting so utterly wrapped up and focused on his own thoughts that he wasn’t aware they were calling out to him. He was later diagnosed with the autism spectrum disorder known as Asperger’s syndrome. Symptoms include not responding to their name and obsessive interest in certain subjects, both of which were present in Musk.

In 1979, when Elon was around eight years old, his parents divorced. He and his siblings went to live with his mother because, according to Musk, his father was a “terrible human being.” However, he also calls his dad a “brilliant engineer,” and believes he got his computer and engineering skills from him.

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The Best Cyber Monday Laptop Deals 2022

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The ASUS TUF Gaming F15 laptop was awarded as one of our preferred affordable gaming laptops of 2022, and Cyber Monday deals from Best Buy slash the price even further. Through the online retailer, this ASUS model falls from $1,079.99 to $699.99. Something about the removal of the comma makes anything seem like a much more reasonable investment! Another ASUS deal at Best Buy brings us the ROG Zephyrus 144Hz 14-inch gaming laptop with 16 gigabytes of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics chip for $500 off — that’s $899.99 rather than $1,399.99.

Directly through Lenovo, there are a few some impressive laptop deals. You can save a whopping $2,010.00 on the ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 14-inch in storm gray color for a grand total of $849. There’s over $2,200 to be saved on the same model,  but in black. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 14-inch is 65% off — that pitches the price by $2,350.00 to $1,259.00.

Target’s only Cyber Monday specific deal is for the HP Victus 15.6-inch 144Hz gaming laptop, which was originally listed for $829.99 but has fallen to $589.99. That’s another gaming laptop that earned a spot on our best affordable gaming laptop rank. However, there are a number of unspecified sales and clearance deals that slash laptop prices by as much as $500 at Target, such as the Acer Aspire 3 15.6-inch laptop with 8 gigabytes of RAM for $249.99. 

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