The donation will provide internet connectivity for over 100 schools
LOS ANGELES, October 26, 2022 – The Polaris Program announced today a donation of $500,000 to connect over 100 schools in Chile and Brazil with Starlink. Increasing internet connectivity to communities around the world is one of the core tenets of Polaris Dawn, the first of the Polaris Program’s three human spaceflight missions. SpaceX is working with nonprofit organizations – Enseña Chile in Chile and MegaEdu in Brazil – to identify schools in each country in need of great internet. Starlinks are being delivered to schools in Chile throughout October, followed by Brazil in November.
Powered by a constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit, SpaceX’s Starlink provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable. The service is currently available in over 40 countries around the world, connecting communities that previously had inadequate or no connectivity. High-bandwidth connectivity enables access to essential online services and resources for rural communities.
“Access to information is foundational to solving many of the world’s problems. Starlink connectivity is an example of how progress in space benefits those on Earth,” said Mission Commander Jared Isaacman.
“Isolated schools in Brazil must have reliable high-speed internet to provide their students equitable opportunities, and a satellite-powered solution is essential to reach these schools, especially in the Amazon region,” said MegaEdu CEO Cristieni Castilhos. “This donation will allow underserved Brazilian schools to use this innovative technology.”
Jared and the Polaris Dawn crew – Mission Pilot Kidd Poteet, Mission Specialist Sarah Gillis, and Mission Specialist/Medical Officer Anna Menon – talked via Starlink to children at the San Miguel de Quintrilpe school, located in La Araucanía region in Chile. The entire school of 80 students and teachers participated in the event, asking the crew questions about their training, what to expect when in orbit, and what the crew hopes to achieve with the Polaris Dawn mission. The school is the first to be connected as part of this effort.
“The donation from Polaris will connect more than 50 schools in Chile to quality internet, contributing to the development of more than 7,500 students and more than 700 teachers. This technological tool, complemented by an educational component of teacher training, allows us to continue improving educational quality and bringing opportunities to children,” said Tomás Recart, executive director of Enseña Chile.
SpaceX is targeting no earlier than March 2023 for Falcon 9’s launch of the Polaris Dawn mission from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Over the course of five days, Dragon and the Polaris Dawn crew will endeavor to travel to 1,400 km (the highest Earth orbit ever flown), attempt the first-ever commercial spacewalk, and test Starlink’s laser-based communications in space.
Communications Director for the Polaris Program
About the Polaris Program
The Polaris Program is a first-of-its-kind effort to rapidly advance human spaceflight capabilities while continuing to raise funds and awareness for important causes here on Earth. The program will consist of up to three human spaceflight missions that will demonstrate new technologies, conduct extensive research, and ultimately culminate in the first flight of SpaceX’s Starship with humans on board. All missions will be commanded by Jared Isaacman, an accomplished pilot and astronaut who led Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit that helped raise over $240 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.