SpaceX was founded with the ultimate mission to colonize Mars. The founder of SpaceX Elon Musk believes its important to preserve human consciousness, he has dedicated his time and wealth to develop the technology and spacecraft that could one day enable humanity to expand consciousness throughout the galaxy. Musk envisions a fleet of Starships carrying tons of cargo and hundreds of passengers to build a permanent settlement called ‘Mars Base Alpha.’ “Helping to pay for this is why I’m accumulating assets on Earth,” Musk said last year. “Megatons per year to orbit are needed for life to become multiplanetary. Building 100 Starships per year gets to 1,000 in 10 years or 100 megatons per year, or maybe around 100,000 people per Earth-Mars orbital sync,” he said. The reusable Starship launch vehicle is under development at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Facility located at Boca Chica Beach, along the border with Mexico. Multiple prototypes of the spacecraft are set to undergo testing. The next Starship prototype will perform a high-altitude flight test soon. Read more: SpaceX Starship SN11 Undergoes Proof Test Ahead Of Upcoming High-Altitude Flight Test
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The development of the Starship launch vehicle comes with an expensive price tag, Musk says SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband constellation is key to funding the Starship fleet development long-term. If SpaceX is successful in deploying the constellation of thousands of internet-beaming Starlink satellites and obtains a percentage of the telecommunications market, Musk says Starlink could generate ten times more revenue than SpaceX’s core business that launches payloads to orbit. “The whole purpose of SpaceX is really to help make life multi-planetary... but the revenue potential of launching satellites to the space station, that taps out about $3 billion dollars a year. But I think providing broadband is more like an order of magnitude more than that, probably $30 billion a year as a rough approximation,” he said at the Satellite2020 conference. If Starlink generates $30 billion in revenue annually it could gradually finance SpaceX’s ambitious Starship program long-term. For context, that would equate to approximately 25 million Starlink subscribers at $99 USD per month. Starlink broadband service customers will be supporting SpaceX’s goal to make life multiplanetary.
The Starlink constellation currently has approximately 1,325 satellites orbiting our planet out of over 12,000 that will comprise the network. The company already started to provide beta internet service to specific regions were the satellites beam its signal. Northern United States, Canada, United Kingdom, are among the first areas that have coverage, the satellites will connect Germany and New Zealand soon. Right now, SpaceX is mainly focused on connecting rural and remote areas where internet is unreliable or unavailable. As more satellites are deployed, SpaceX will expand its coverage. Musk recently said Starlink will provide service to ‘most of Earth’ before this year ends. You can pre-order the broadband service via Starlink.com.
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About the Author
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.