Tag Archives: Satellites

Bringing Starlink to Iran

Iran’s government has shut down the internet in many parts of the country amid mass protests. But Elon Musk is offering Iranians a lifeline.


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Musk hopes to provide internet to Iranians cut off from the web. He is seeking an exemption from Iran sanctions to do so.

Protests spread across Iran after the death of a young woman in police custody last week. Masha Amini, a healthy 22 year old, died of a supposed heart attack shortly after being arrested.

Her crime: not wearing the hijab, or traditional veil. Her family denies she had any history of heart problems, per NPR.

Protesters have flooded the streets of the capital, Tehran, chanting “Death to the Dictator.” At least five protesters have been killed by security forces.

The protests are occurring against a backdrop of economic misery. Inflation is over 50% a year and the price of basmati rice alone is up 200% from 2021.

In the face of unrest, the Iranian government has shut down cell service in central Tehran. It has also cut the entire Kurdish region in the northwest off from the internet.

Starlink may be able to reconnect protesters with the world. But it won’t be easy.

Starlink requires a special receiver. The company would have to smuggle large numbers of them into Iran to get people online.

Getting the units into Iran will be difficult. But the receiver is small enough to hide and can support many users at once.

Restored internet will help Iranians coordinate protests. It will also let them shine a light on their government’s thuggery.

I applaud Musk’s work to get Iranians back online. Best of luck!

What do you think of Musk’s attempt to get Starlink to Iran? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

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Photo: Tesla and SpaceX CEO, and Solar City Chairman, Elon Musk, Sun Valley Idaho, Allen & Company Conference, July 2015” by Thomas Hawk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.


What if Everyone on Earth Had Super Fast Internet for $1?

Only about half the world has internet access. Even rural America lags behind in broadband penetration.

But what if everyone on earth had incredibly fast internet for $1 a month?

A fascinating company called Akash Systems just might pull that off. It is delivering internet 100 times more cheaply than its competitors.

Given that Starlink is charging $99/month for its high speed satellite internet, Akash may one day be able to do it for as little as a dollar.

“This is sort of where the internet was in, I would say, ’98, ’99.”

Felix Ejeckam

The key is a new type of transistor called Gallium Nitride (GaN)-on-Diamond. The founder of Akash, Felix Ejeckam, invented it.

The hottest part of a transistor is put within nanometers of a synthetic diamond. Synthetic diamonds conduct heat better than any other material.

This means that the transistor produces way less heat. Anyone who’s had a laptop on their lap knows it can get hot.

Electronics getting hot cause all sorts of problems, especially in space.

Excess heat means problems with wireless communication. It also requires large heat sinks to dissipate the heat.

This makes the satellite bulkier and more expensive.

Today, Akash focuses on building transmitters for other satellite makers. In the future, they plan to launch their own satellites and internet service.

I can’t wait to sign up and cut my bill down to nothing!

In an interview with the Ejeckam, I was fascinated to hear that he dreamed up this idea 17 years ago. It shows the persistence needed to make a dream real.

“The limits of your imagination today define the limits of space tomorrow.”

Felix Ejeckam

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Inside a Startup Accelerator Demo Day

Photo: “Antares Rocket Launch” by NASA Goddard Photo and Video is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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