Elon Musk and his company SpaceX is keen on investing A LOT in its Starlink vision.
In a report by Michael Sheetz on CNBC, the aerospace company reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they have invested over $70 million in their Starlink project. The funds were used in the development and production of consumer user terminals each month. These consumer terminals will be used by customers to connect to the space-based internet service.
According to the company itself, it is now constructing 120 satellites each month. In an interview with Chris Quilty, founder of the firm Quilty Analytics, he discussed how SpaceX is bulldozing the game with its figures.
Compared to rivals, Iridium, and OneWeb, Elon Musk’s company is surely heading forward at an unprecedented pace. For reference, Iridium, during its peak of production, only produced six satellites a month. This is shy from SpaceX’s numbers. Meanwhile, OneWeb, has a rate of about 30 each month, the closest that can get to SpaceX’s numbers. However, it had already declared bankruptcy and is in the process of consolidation before trying to return to the industry.
Among the three aforementioned companies, only SpaceX has one hundred percent homegrown production of its satellite products. Iridium and OneWeb’s equipment are made with the help of European-based companies Thales Alenia Space and Airbus respectively.
In the same CNBC interview, Quilty hailed it as a win for American ingenuity.
With the astronomical hype the company gets due to its Starlink program, industry analysts suppose that the main challenge for its success is how fast they would be able to roll out its services.
Phil Smith of Bryce Space and Technology sees that the company will soon be able to more Starlink in space in the foreseeable future.
Starlink is cementing its dominance in the space-based Internet industry as newcomer Kuiper of Amazon gains approval from the FCC last month to launch its own Starlink-like program. This even led to Elon Musk branding him a ‘copycat’.