Six Launches of Starlink Satellites to Reach Initial Activation

Elon Musk tweeted that only six launches of Starlink Satellites will be needed to reach initial activation of a 360 satellite constellation. 720 satellites from 12 launches will provide significant coverage of the US, Europe, Japan and China. 360 satellites would only provide minor global coverage.

Each batch of 60 satellites will be able to deliver 1 terabit of bandwidth to Earth.

The satellite launch was delayed from yesterday. SpaceX will try to launch late today.

This launch will have production design Starlink.

These satellites are critical to SpaceX reaching significant revenue. The global space industry has over $350 billion per year of revenue but the commercial launch business is only about $4 billion per year. SpaceX already has 60% of commercial launch.

SpaceX has to create a new vertically integrated service in space. Direct TV and the global satellite television business makes $100 billion per year in revenue. However, SpaceX will not compete enter a mature and declining business. SpaceX will provide low latency trading for financial companies.

SOURCES – Elon Musk twitter, SpaceX
Written By Brian Wang,

12 thoughts on “Six Launches of Starlink Satellites to Reach Initial Activation”

  1. Who will pay the first mover costs and pay to manufacture the components of the most efficient Mars DRM ever and hire SpaceX or BO to deliver them?

    I don’t think think the VC community would do it, low ROI.
    A few big billionaires might get together and chip in as a weekend vanity project, long shot.
    It’s likely to be some combination of national space agencies or nothing.

    I remain hopeful, but still cant see a driver that will make this happen.

  2. Exactly. Mount the pizza-box Starlink antenna, modem, some solar panels and a battery on a cell tower – provide decent broadband to a whole village.

  3. Consider Starlink as an alternative to running land lines or microwave relays between cell towers in a poor country. The receiver could be quite expensive and still be the option of choice for feeding cell towers.

  4. No formal plans now but all Elon Musk is doing points towards building the most important parts of eventual space settlement plans.

    He seems not to want to pay it all himself. Someone has to show some nerve and act upon the new abilities Musk’s companies are bringing.

    Which I think is fair. Making the rockets that could take us there is more than enough for any single person or company to do.

  5. Boats, airplanes, self driving trucks and cars. A lot of opportunities for off-the-grid Internet.

    The third world sounds nice, but are they really targeting some peasants in a poor country? or rather the gaps created by 4G and 5G’s preference for dense cities?

    I also think he’s planning to offer Starlink besides other of his companies’ products, for example, giving it to Tesla owners for a discount or even free for a while. SDCs benefit a lot from actual universally available Internet coverage.

  6. Heck, a co-worker of mine is a few hundred feet from the end of a cable run out in the country, and right next to a small subdivision that lacks broadband. And he can’t get them to run cable into the sub! With 20-30 potential customers.

    They’re really reluctant to install that last mile these days.

  7. Interesting deployment plan: spin the tower and sling the satellites out vs traditional push via springs.

  8. They have no current space settlement plans, they do have space settlement related transportation plans-big difference. For a small fee, you can hire them to transport your settlement equipment and your colonists to anywhere in the solar system.

    High tech companies dont attract billions of VC dollars in order to engage in a race to the bottom. The already well supplied end of the market is always the primary target.

  9. Most customers in the US are never going to get fiber to the home. Most ISPs are trying to pitch 5G wireless for broadband, which is likely not going to work super well.

  10. I thought that there are tons of low coverage areas in the developing world, in rural areas and also for transport over the oceans which create a lot of potential. Moon orbit tourism starting at 50 M a person should probably be his next target, the first for the starship.

  11. I don’t think that their goal is to directly compete with people who have fiber in their homes.

    It is their goal to compete and win for rural access, air access, ocean access, etc.

  12. I still wonder about the installation cost & requirements, actual bandwidth per customer, pricing and end user model.

    I know that if this is only for Wall Street fat cats and a backbone for Telcos, I’d be far less excited about the technical miracles they are developing.

    But I’ll still cheer up if they get the bucks for proceeding with their space launchers and settlement plans.

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