Elon Musk’s SpaceX Seeks to Reconnect Tonga to Internet
SpaceX, a technology and space exploration company founded by Tesla creator Elon Musk, is currently endeavoring to establish a communications bridge to Tonga after the island suffered from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last month. The natural disasters effectively cut the Pacific nation off from the outside world due to internet and connectivity issues, stated a senior lawmaker. In addition, the disasters killed 15 individuals and severed Tonga’s critical undersea cable that provides high speed internet. The volcanic eruption also deposited a carpet of material as thick as 1.2 inches across the Pacific archipelago of 170 islands.
SpaceX is seeking to deploy a team to Fiji and establish a station that would connect Tonga via its satellite-internet service called Starlink. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji’s attorney-general, announced the plans earlier this month. To date, SpaceX has launched roughly 1,800 Starlink satellites and is active in more than 20 countries. Tonga’s recovery from the natural disasters has been complicated by a recent Covid-19 outbreak that led to the government’s decision to lock down the country a week ago.