On September 25, SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared that SpaceX achieved manufacturing 1 million Starlink user terminals used to access the satellite internet network. The user terminals consist of a phased array antenna and Wi-Fi router device that enables wireless connection to the internet. The antenna is around the size of a pizza box and features communication technology more advanced than what is onboard military fighter jets.SpaceX has launched approximately 3,300 internet-beaming Starlink satellites to Low Earth Orbit since 2019. Overall, the broadband constellation will consist of at least 12,000 Starlink satellites that SpaceX will launch in the years ahead. The satellites beam data directly to user terminal antennas on Earth.
SpaceX’s Starlink manufacturing facility is located in Redmond, Washington. SpaceX's Vice President for Build and Flight Reliability Bill Gerstenmaier said the company significantly ramped up the amount of user antennas manufactured per week from 5,000 per week in 2021 to 20,000 this year. “We’re building 20,000 home-user Ku-band phased array antennas out here for the Starlink system per week. That’s unheard of,” Gerstenmaier told Aviation Week reporters in June. Manufacturing 1 million Starlink terminals is an impressive milestone, given that SpaceX has only been selling its service for around 19 months. In only the first couple months when SpaceX started to accept pre-orders of the hardware in 2021, the company said that it had received “over half a million” pre-orders for Starlink.
Starlink now over 1M user terminals manufactured— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 25, 2022
Now, Starlink is available across all seven continents in 43 countries, see Starlink Coverage Map. The standard Starlink user antenna for residential use is priced at $599 USD with a monthly internet subscription fee of $110 USD. SpaceX also offers three other hard options, Starlink for RV, Maritime Starlink for sea-going vessels, and Starlink Business for enterprise customers. The Starlink Business hardware is made to withstand all kinds of weather and serve dozens of users simultaneously; It is priced at $500 USD per month with a one-time hardware cost of $2,500 USD. Starlink Business has "download speeds of up to 350 Mbps [Megabits per second] and latency of 20-40ms [milliseconds]," according to SpaceX. Starlink Maritime service is more expensive, the hardware comes in a set of two high-performance antennas for $10,000 USD and a monthly internet subscription cost of $5,000 USD per month that provides the same speed as Starlink Business.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.