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SpaceX Has Shipped 100K Starlink Space Wi-Fi Sets, With 500K More On The Way

Image via L Galbraith / SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space venture that also operates its Starlink global broadband service, has officially distributed 100,000 terminals to customers. This is a huge milestone for the company, considering that satellite launches only began in November 2019, with its beta program opening a year later. Since then, the firm has rolled out more than 1,700 satellites into orbit, and have received 500,000 more orders for its service. According to TechCrunch, Starlink’s speed to market comes from the fact that SpaceX can use its own Falcon 9 rocket to launch the satellites, instead of relying on a third party. Starlink aims to service customers in remote and rural areas, where access to usual internet providers are poor or limited. Customers first pay US$499 for the terminal setup, before a monthly subscription fee for the broadband service. As with most things Musk helms, Starlink has ambitious plans for the future. It hopes to push nearly 30,000 satellites into orbit, as well as expand its customer base to millions worldwide. Additionally, in a new application for the next Starlink system that the firm submitted to the Federal Communication Commission this month, SpaceX proposed two different layouts for the constellation, one of which will also make use of the company’s Starship rocket. “SpaceX has found ways to leverage the advanced capabilities of its new launch vehicle, Starship, that has increased capability to deliver more mass to orbit quickly and efficiently and, combined with reuse capability of the upper stage, launch more often,” the application said. However, with Starlink’s satellites already accounting for more than 50% of all close encounters in orbit, the company will have to find ways to manage its satellites, especially if it goes from 1,700 of them to nearly 30,000. Will the firm be able to overcome the logistical challenges to fulfill the constellation? We’ll see soon enough. 100k terminals shipped!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2021 [via TechCrunch, cover image via L Galbraith /]

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