Lights are a part of ongoing project to provide internet access for rural areas without it

Upper Cumberland – Last week throughout Tennessee, eyes moved toward the sky, surprised, confused and shocked by what they saw. A line of lights dotting the starless sky made an impression against the darkness.

Was it alien? Was it government? What was it, exactly? It was business, Elon Musk’s SpaceX business to be exact.

The “Starlink Satellite train,” as it is known, is a technology that is part of a program looking to help provide internet access to remote and rural areas across the globe, including parts of Middle TN and the Upper Cumberland.

“Leveraging advanced satellites and user hardware coupled with our deep experience with both spacecraft and on-orbit operations, Starlink delivers high-speed, low-latency internet to users all over the world,” According to

4,000 Starlink Satellites have been released into the atmosphere since 2019. It is the first and largest satellite constellation using low orbit to provide broad capabilities to rural areas without internet access.

Last week’s “floating lights” were the product of SpaceX’s most recent launch, but according to experts, the satellites are not made of light but reflect the light of the sun, and that is what people are seeing. The satellites are released from the same SpaceX shuttle at the same time and end up in the same orbit.

So, it’s not a flying saucer, it is a business plan.

According to, SpaceX’s Sept. 3 launch, which sent 21 Starlink internet satellites to orbit, was the 62nd orbital mission of 2023. That is a record for most flights in a year, according to company founder and CEO Elon Musk.

Image by vecstock on Freepik.

Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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