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SpaceX hints at ‘Starlink’ brand for satellite web

Satellite constellation
A SpaceX satellite coverage scheme described in a patent application envisions two sets of satellites orbiting in different inclinations at different altitudes. (PatentYogi via YouTube)

SpaceX has filed documents seeking to trademark the name “Starlink” for a satellite network that could provide global broadband access to data and video services as well as Earth imagery and remote sensing.

The California company’s satellite unit operates primarily out of facilities in Redmond, Wash., and is working stealthily to develop a constellation of thousands of satellites that would be launched into low Earth orbit.

When SpaceX’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, announced the multibillion-dollar satellite project during a Seattle visit in 2015, he said it would open the way for low-cost broadband internet access around the world and potentially provide the revenue for the company’s Mars settlement program.

But the trademark application, filed in August, also leaves the door open for “satellite photography services” and “remote sensing services, namely, aerial surveying through the use of satellites.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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