Elon Musk’s Starlink to help monitor illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest

Credit: Michael Sheetz/Twitter

Elon Musk has always maintained that SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet is designed to provide high-speed internet to the world’s most underserved areas. One of these areas, as revealed by a recent press release from the Brazilian government, would soon be the Amazon rainforest, which is home to indigenous communities and unfortunately, also the site of illegal deforestation activities. 

According to the Brazilian government’s press release, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk met with the country’s communications minister in Texas this past Monday to discuss the idea of Starlink being deployed to the Amazon rainforest. The high-speed satellite internet system could provide a lot of benefits to the area, as it could give high-speed web connectivity to indigenous communities, remote schools, and health centers. 

But this is not all. Starlink could also be utilized to help monitor the illegal deforestation that is still happening in the Amazon rainforest. Satellites, after all, have been used in the past by conservation groups to track environmental events such as forest fires. Starlink’s satellites could then help monitor the Amazon rainforest for forest fires and illegal deforestation activities. 

“We are working to close this important partnership between the Brazilian government and SpaceX. We want to combine the technology developed by them with the Wi-Fi Brazil program of the Ministry of Communications. Our objective is to bring internet to rural areas and remote places, as well as to help control fires and illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest,” Fábio Faria, Brazil’s Minister of Communications said. 

In a video posted by Faria on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted that SpaceX is looking forward to providing some much-needed internet connectivity to Brazil’s least-served areas. He also expressed some optimism about how the satellite internet system could be utilized to help preserve the Amazon rainforest. “We’re looking forward to providing connectivity to the least-served people of Brazil. With better connectivity, we can help ensure the preservation of the Amazon,” Musk said. 

SpaceX’s Starlink system currently has about 1,800 satellites in orbit. Starlink also serves about 140,000 users in 20 countries as of today, according to a presentation filed by the private space firm earlier this month. This is but the tip of the iceberg, however, as SpaceX has plans to launch far more Starlink satellites in the near future. By doing so, the satellite system could provide quality connectivity even to areas that are not reachable by traditional high-speed internet lines. 

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Elon Musk’s Starlink to help monitor illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest
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