SpaceX Borrowing to Global Internet and BFR future

SpaceX will probably have about $1.5 billion in revenue in revenue in 2018 and then $2 billion in revenue in 2019.

SpaceX is raising $500 million in a loan which will help fund the SpaceX BFR and the buildout of the Starlink satellite network.

The fully reusable SpaceX BFR will cost about $2 billion to 10 billion to develop.

SpaceX would need to have about 30 launches to reach $2 billion in revenue. Each Falcon Heavy launch or launches for NASA or the Air Force are higher value launches. Those launches are worth 2 or 3 times the value of a $65 million Falcon 9 launch.

SpaceX has two Falcon Heavy launches scheduled for 2019 and some NASA Dragon launches.

Global Internet from Space and Point to Point travel

In four years, SpaceX could have a commercial level of Starlink internet satellites deployed. This would be the first 800 to 1600 satellites. 1,600 Initial deployment. 2825 Final Deployment. Commercial broadband service starts after launching the first 800 Satellites.

Gwynne Shotwell estimated the deployment of Starlink would cost around $10 billion.

The global internet service could generate $30 billion per year in revenue.

The receiving stations will need Phased Array antennas to track the low earth orbit satellites.

Each Starlink satellite weighs 386 kg (850lbs).

They are 1.1 meter × 0.7 meter × 0.7 meter.
There are two 2 meter × 8 meter solar panels.

The attitude of each spacecraft is 3-axis stabilized. They are dynamically controlled over each orbit to maintain attitude position for two pointing modes of operation. They will also provide satellite photography services and remote sensing services.

Phase two planned 7,518 satellites in VLEO (Very-Low-Earth Orbit) NGSO (Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit) Constellation at about 322km up (200 miles) to increase overall bandwidth in populated areas.

What is the Bandwidth of the entire Starlink system?

Total available bandwidth after 12,000 satellites are in operation would be 12k*20 = 240,000 Gbps.

A Falcon 9 deploying 25 satellites per launch, would take 177 launches. It would take 36 flights per year.
A Falcon Heavy could deploy 40 satellites per launch. It would take 112 flights. It would 5 years with 22 flights per year.
A SpaceX BFR could deploy 350 satellites per launch. It would need 13 flights total.

88 thoughts on “SpaceX Borrowing to Global Internet and BFR future”

  1. Actually the biggest problem is customers equipment. These days most of the biggest satellite anteas development companies made statements (on a common event) that client side equipment under few hundred dollars is currently impossible. It is impossible according them and in a 5 years period. Actually current price is few thousand usd. They hope to cut it ten times in next years by scale. But they all agree prices in segment of 50 usd is not feasible in next 5 years.

    Reply
  2. This is a very poorly-written article. The proof-reading appears to have been virtually non-existent, and some of the sentences feel a bit strange, but the worst of it is the terrible structuring. There’s no flow to the writing. One point does not lead on to another, and there’s precious little effort evident to link them up. Instead, facts are simply quoted with little-to-no context added for the reader.

    Reply
  3. I just want to see those test flights already. I’m glad they’re testing the spaceship part first, since that should make for better rocket p0rn.

    Reply
  4. All TELCOs around the world should need to come up with a better idea how to retain customers because Starlink would definitely be the biggest disruption in telecommunication once it goes online.

    Reply
  5. Hey, anyone finding Vuukle aoying? I clicked to reply to a post here and it just took me to the NBF headlines, not the actual post all ready to reply like Reddit does.

    Reply
  6. Is this article suggesting a chicken & egg catch 22 for SpaceX? They need Starlink to fund the BFR development, but BFR is the quickest way to launch Starlink?

    Reply
  7. SpaceX would do better under a federal Apollo-style program. So far, its claims of cheaper overall cost per flight have not been verified. It is also a question of how it will come up with the funds for the BFR. Under a federal program, it could move much faster as a government contractor. It would also be safer, since there are strict safety protocols. So far, we don’t know if any of this stuff will actually ever get off the ground, or whether it’s just a nice computer animation.

    Reply
  8. Don’t forget that Google owns 5% of SpaceX, and therefore 5% of Starlink. Starlink still needs to coect to the rest of the Internet. What I expect will happen is Google will supply the ground stations and coectivity, and they will use Starlink to flesh out their Fiber service. They can use it for rural areas, where wired fiber is uneconomic, and to jumpstart in cities, where incumbent ISPs are being assholes and slowing deployment.

    Reply
  9. Early ’19 is just the hop tests. Orbital tests in ’20-21. Maybe they can piggyback the Starlink sats on those orbital test flights.

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  10. With Prevailing Wage on all these jobs everyone would be getting paid 50bucks an hr for picking their nose, or wiping their butts POOR ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT.

    Reply
  11. Don’t forget that Google owns 5% of SpaceX, and therefore 5% of Starlink. Starlink still needs to connect to the rest of the Internet. What I expect will happen is Google will supply the ground stations and connectivity, and they will use Starlink to flesh out their Fiber service. They can use it for rural areas, where wired fiber is uneconomic, and to jumpstart in cities, where incumbent ISPs are being assholes and slowing deployment.

    Reply
  12. So far, its claims of cheaper overall cost per flight have not been verified. ” <– Cheaper than what and verified by who? What price is less expensive? Do you think they are losing money on a launch?

    Reply
  13. A few hundred $ one-time cost for better internet? That’s easily funded, by either the customer or (more likely) the ISP.

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  14. One of the reasons Apollo got off the ground, was spreading the development work in as many states and Congressional districts as possible, to get as much support for funding in both houses as possible.Plus of course, cost-plus contracting that was originally well-intended, but tends to reward cost overruns and delays. Process becomes more important than results.Needles to say, it’s the dead opposite of how SpaceX (or Blue Origin) works, or efficiency in general.”Under a federal program, it could move much faster as a government contractor”Um, Space Launch System…?”It would also be safer, since there are strict safety protocols.”Um, Apollo 1…?

    Reply
  15. Musk said that BFR would launch in early 2019, and Mars mission in 2022, so we could see starlink been launched in early 2020.

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  16. Agreed, the last thing Musk wants is NASA to have any say in the development of BFS .And, LOL that it would be faster. Like the way crew dragon is going so fast? Like the way SLS is going so fast with Boeing ? LOL

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  17. What?Thats riduculous seeking a loan for 500 million now. For the starlink and bfr. If they accomplish the bfr it would actually save rhem milkions of dollars to deploy starlink and also help support the build of bfr

    Reply
  18. GPS is in high orbit or 20.000 km, Starlink is 400 or something so you can see 1/3 the gps satellites in orbit. For starlink this is far lower and the ones too close to the horizon has to pass trough lots of atmosphere, something who works nice with an time signal but not with wifi. For cities you use fiber simply enough. Starlink will also not work with phones, it need an modem sized device. / antea, that would however work well enough for cars.

    Reply
  19. I’m shocked to see faster and government contractor in the same sentence. Also, “we don’t know if aany of this stuff will actually ever get off the ground”. Engineering isn’t voodoo magic, it’s logic and problem solving. SpaceX has an incredible tract record for successful flights. Finally claims of cheaper overall cost per flight? This is a basic concept of vertical integration. You need to do some basic conceptual learning over all of these topics if you want to have any klout to your wholly incorrect statements

    Reply
  20. SpaceX would do better under a federal Apollo-style program. So far, its claims of cheaper overall cost per flight have not been verified. It is also a question of how it will come up with the funds for the BFR. Under a federal program, it could move much faster as a government contractor. It would also be safer, since there are strict safety protocols. So far, we don’t know if any of this stuff will actually ever get off the ground, or whether it’s just a nice computer animation.

    Reply
  21. I kind of like it when Brian changes commenting systems every 3 months. Lots of times things on the Internet are semipermanent – not here. There’s no record of how much of a dick I have been, when he wipes the comments every 3 months

    Reply
  22. ” So far, its claims of cheaper overall cost per flight have not been verified. ” <-- Cheaper than what and verified by who? What price is less expensive? Do you think they are losing money on a launch?

    Reply
  23. Actually the biggest problem is customers equipment. These days most of the biggest satellite anteas development companies made statements (on a common event) that client side equipment under few hundred dollars is currently impossible. It is impossible according them and in a 5 years period. Actually current price is few thousand usd. They hope to cut it ten times in next years by scale. But they all agree prices in segment of 50 usd is not feasible in next 5 years.

    Reply
  24. This is a very poorly-written article. The proof-reading appears to have been virtually non-existent, and some of the sentences feel a bit strange, but the worst of it is the terrible structuring. There’s no flow to the writing. One point does not lead on to another, and there’s precious little effort evident to link them up. Instead, facts are simply quoted with little-to-no context added for the reader.

    Reply
  25. I think 20 is a very conservative estimate. On my Android phone I can see 20 GPS satellites at any one time (a mix of USA, Russian and Chinese SATs) I can imagine with SpaceX there will be vastly more visible. However SpaceX themselves indicate cities are a problem.

    Reply
  26. Starlink is not very efficient in cities since local bandwidth is limited to the of satellites above you all the thousands elsewhere does not help you. so say 20gbps x number of satelites above you, say its 20 and you get 400 Gbps, however with an million users in an city its not very impressive. If you don’t live in or near an major city however.

    Reply
  27. I just want to see those test flights already. I’m glad they’re testing the spaceship part first, since that should make for better rocket p0rn.

    Reply
  28. Of course it will. Anything Musk does will disrupt its industry because he is focused on the right thing, making people’s live better than on profits, which only degrade a company.

    Reply
  29. One of the reasons Apollo got off the ground, was spreading the development work in as many states and Congressional districts as possible, to get as much support for funding in both houses as possible.

    Plus of course, cost-plus contracting that was originally well-intended, but tends to reward cost overruns and delays. Process becomes more important than results.

    Needles to say, it’s the dead opposite of how SpaceX (or Blue Origin) works, or efficiency in general.

    “Under a federal program, it could move much faster as a government contractor”

    Um, Space Launch System…?

    “It would also be safer, since there are strict safety protocols.”

    Um, Apollo 1…?

    Reply
  30. The question is, is anybody NOT finding Vuukle aoying. I understand Brian is currently looking for a replacement. Let’s hope he test drives it for more than 30 seconds this time.

    Reply
  31. All TELCOs around the world should need to come up with a better idea how to retain customers because Starlink would definitely be the biggest disruption in telecommunication once it goes online.

    Reply
  32. Hey, anyone finding Vuukle aoying? I clicked to reply to a post here and it just took me to the NBF headlines, not the actual post all ready to reply like Reddit does.

    Reply
  33. GPS is in high orbit or 20.000 km, Starlink is 400 or something so you can see 1/3 the gps satellites in orbit. For starlink this is far lower and the ones too close to the horizon has to pass trough lots of atmosphere, something who works nice with an time signal but not with wifi.
    For cities you use fiber simply enough. Starlink will also not work with phones, it need an modem sized device. / antenna, that would however work well enough for cars.

    Reply
  34. Greenhouse effect refers to (1) a change in the chemical composition of the atmosphere, which (2) increases the retention of infrared radiation (heat), which (3) increases the global average temperature.Which (4) melts the glaciers, (5) causes a rise in sea level, (6) cause unprecedented draught in some places, (7) likely drives some species like polar bears to extinction, and (8) will allow for the spread of others like the gypsy moth, Zika virus and fire ants.Exactly none of which applies to these satellites.

    Reply
  35. SpaceX would do better under a federal Apollo-style program. So far, its claims of cheaper overall cost per flight have not been verified. It is also a question of how it will come up with the funds for the BFR. Under a federal program, it could move much faster as a government contractor. It would also be safer, since there are strict safety protocols. So far, we don’t know if any of this stuff will actually ever get off the ground, or whether it’s just a nice computer animation.

    Reply
  36. I kind of like it when Brian changes commenting systems every 3 months. Lots of times things on the Internet are semipermanent – not here. There’s no record of how much of a dick I have been, when he wipes the comments every 3 months

    Reply
  37. Starlink is not very efficient in cities since local bandwidth is limited to the of satellites above you all the thousands elsewhere does not help you. so say 20gbps x number of satelites above you, say its 20 and you get 400 Gbps, however with an million users in an city its not very impressive.
    If you don’t live in or near an major city however.

    Reply
  38. Is this article suggesting a chicken & egg catch 22 for SpaceX? They need Starlink to fund the BFR development, but BFR is the quickest way to launch Starlink?

    Reply

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