SpaceX

Starlink's success is crucial to financing SpaceX's ambitious mission to colonize Mars with Starship fleet

Starlink's success is crucial to financing SpaceX's ambitious mission to colonize Mars with Starship fleet

SpaceX founder Elon Musk is driven by the ultimate mission to colonize Mars and preserve human consciousness. He has dedicated his time and wealth to develop the technology and spacecraft that could enable humanity expand consciousness throughout the Solar System. Musk envisions a future where a fleet of Starships will carry 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 via Twitter in 2020. “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.”

The development of the reusable Starship launch vehicle is active at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Facility. Multiple prototypes of the spacecraft already underwent testing. Last month, SpaceX performed the first-ever flight test of a fully-integrated Starship Super Heavy in an attempt to launch it to orbit. The test was terminated mid-flight due to engine issues, however, it provided engineers with important data to improve the rocket. Read more: SpaceX reveals it caused Starship’s explosion by triggering Flight Termination System. The development of Starship comes with an expensive price tag. During a ‘Twitter Spaces’ that took place on April 29, Musk shared that he expects to spend around $2 Billion on the Starship’s development this year. A couple years ago, Musk said that SpaceX’s Starlink division could potentially help fund the company’s plan to make life multiplanetary. Starlink's success is crucial to financing SpaceX's ambitious mission to colonize Mars with a Starship fleet.

A constant flow of revenue is necessary to fund manufacturing the fleet of stainless-steel Starships long-term. Starlink internet subscribers around the world are helping SpaceX fund future missions to Mars. If SpaceX succeeds in deploying the constellation of up to 12,000 of internet-beaming Starlink satellites to orbit and obtains a percentage of the telecommunications market, Musk believes that Starlink could generate ten times more revenue than SpaceX's core business that launches payloads and astronauts to orbit. “The whole purpose of SpaceX is really to help make life multi-planetary... but the revenue potential of launching satellites and servicing [astronauts to the International] 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 Satellite 2020 conference. 

The addressable market for broadband is much larger. There’s more people on Earth that can afford buying a monthly internet service subscription than afford a ticket to travel to outer space. Starlink could gradually finance SpaceX's ambitious Starship program long-term with a steady cash flow as more subscribers join the network. Earlier this month, SpaceX shared that it amassed over 1.5 million Starlink subscribers. At the Federal Aviation’s Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation conference that took place in February, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell shared that Starlink is currently generating around $1 Billion in annual revenue. Shotwell also said that the company is on track to turn a profit in 2023. “This year, Starlink will make money. We actually had a cash flow positive quarter last year,” she said at the conference, as previously reported by TESMANIAN. Read more: SpaceX President says Starlink had a 'cash flow positive quarter' & is on track to 'make money' in 2023 

SpaceX's Starlink broadband network is rapidly growing on a weekly basis with over 4,000 satellites in Low Earth Orbit and counting. The company plans to deploy 7,500 next-generation satellites in the years ahead to build a robust internet network. 

》 Author's note: Thanks for reading Tesmanian.com. Write your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have any story suggestions or feedback, feel free to Direct Message me on Twitter: Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo @JaneidyEve Read my most recent stories here: Recent News Stories 《

Featured Image Source: SpaceX [Image edited by Tesmanian.com] 

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

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.

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