The aerospace company has revealed some noticeable details about its Starlink Satellite Internet constellation. In a presentation to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), SpaceX revealed that they are building 1,500 satellites per year.
Crunching some numbers
On August 7, the company completed its tenth Starlink mission. It has deployed 595 operational satellites into Low-Earth orbit thus far. The company owns by far the largest private satellite constellation in the world.
SpaceX has at least between 5 to 8 missions planned between now and the end of 2020. In its campaign to raise a new round of funding, SpaceX is trying to convince investors to mainly fund the Starlink project. The company’s value proposition revolves around going after a $1 trillion total addressable market.
According to a report by Morgan Stanley, SpaceX’s long-term valuation could reach the $175 billion mark if the Starlink project is successful.
Aside from tweets by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and regulatory documents published by the FCC, very little is actually known about the project.
An ex parte presentation posted on August 3 by the FCC has revealed new information about the project.
For instance, SpaceX is building at least 120 Starlink Satellites per month in its Redmond, Washington facility. This is equivalent to at least 1440 satellites annually. By mass, this means that SpaceX is producing more than 30 metric tons (30,000 kgs) of satellites per year.
Considering that SpaceX has a relatively small base of operations, the company is producing huge quantities. At this rate, SpaceX is producing enough to conduct two full Starlink launch missions per month. This is enough for the company to launch approximately 4400 satellites in just three years.
Challenge lay ahead
Production capacity however, would have to significantly increase to complete their full constellation of 12,000 satellites.
Should the FCC also approve the additional 30,000 satellites required by SpaceX, this could prove to be an even more stringent process.
Should the Starlink project be successful however, this will potentially generate huge revenues for SpaceX. This would allow the company to fund future growth, increase supply chain and construct new production facilities.
In conclusion, let’s keep it simple: let us hope that the future of the Internet is here!