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SpaceX will sell satellite laser connections that accelerate in-space communication to competitors

SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell unveils the first four NASA astronauts assigned to travel on board the Crew Dragon SpaceX spaceship at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, U.S. August 13, 2018

WASHINGTON, March 19 (mod1s) - SpaceX has begun selling satellite lasers, which are used for rapid in-space communications, to other satellite manufacturers, company President Gwynne Shotwell said at a conference on Tuesday. 

SpaceX's hundreds of Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit employ inter-satellite laser connections to transport data between one another in space at the speed of light, enabling the network to deliver greater internet coverage throughout the globe with fewer base stations.

Shotwell, speaking on a panel at the Satellite business conference in Washington, said SpaceX as a provider would offer that technology to other firms. 

"We'll roll that out ... with our new Polaris Dawn mission coming up here this summer on a Dragon capsule," Shotwell added, alluding to a forthcoming private astronaut journey using the company's Dragon space capsule. 

Shotwell claimed the laser option was named “Plug and Plaser,” meaning the technology could be readily installed by clients on their spacecraft.

Space businesses have resorted to sell spaceship components to diversify income and shore up finances to support more capital-intensive projects. SpaceX is designing and testing its next-generation Starship rocket, meant to be cheaper but significantly more powerful than its mainstay Falcon 9. 

"We generally don't sell components, so this is a little bit of a new thing for us," Shotwell told Reuters following the panel discussion. She added SpaceX was already in negotiations with prospective clients.


Source: https://www.reuters.com/

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