"SpaceX has revealed the first successful test of Starlink satellite ‘space ’ ilasersn orbit, a significant step along the path to an upgraded “Version 2” constellation.
In simple terms, those “lasers” are a form of optical (light-based) communication with an extremely high bandwidth ceiling, potentially permitting the wireless, high-speed transfer of vast quantities of data over equally vast distances. Of the ~715 Starlink satellites SpaceX has launched over the last 16 months, some 650 are operational Version 1 (v1.0) spacecraft designed to serve a limited group of customers in the early stages of the constellation. Prior to SpaceX’s September 3rd announcement, it was assumed that none of those satellites included laser interlinks, but now we know that two spacecraft – presumably launched as part of Starlink-9 or -10 in August – have successfully tested prototype lasers in orbit.
Ever since CEO Elon Musk first revealed SpaceX’s satellite internet ambitions in early 2015, those plans have included some form of interconnection between some or all of the thousands of satellites the company would need to launch. While a functional low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet constellation doesn’t intrinsically need to have that capability to function or be successful, inter-satellite links offer some major benefits in return for the added spacecraft complexity and cost." teslarati
This story proceeds from good to wonderful. I hope I live long enough to subscribe. BTW, I am helping support the local dental community with a molar extraction last week, job well done and a multi, multi program of filling a lot of gum line cavities, enthusiastic digging around with lasers, etc.
Gotta help the locals meet their nut dates. pl