SpaceX released a new Starlink internet satellites into orbit on Tuesday, using a reusable Falcon 9 rocket. In the clear sky, the rocket launched at 3:01 p.m. ET from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
New Starlink satellites launched using recycled Falcon 9 rocket
According to the SpaceX live stream host, minutes before the rocket launched, the weather conditions at the launch pad and over the drone ship were ideal for take-off and landing. The launch, dubbed Starlink 25, is the Elon Musk-owned company's 13th in 2021 and the third time this Falcon 9 rocket has ventured into space.
Before take-off, the Falcon 9 rocket fired up its nine Merlin engines, creating a huge white cloud that blew out from the launch pad, and then it was off to orbit. The rocket's first stage landed safely on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean after carrying the 60 Starlink satellites.
Musk, a Star Wars fan, dubbed SpaceX's Falcon 9 after the iconic film's Millennium Falcon. This year, SpaceX has deployed a series of Starlinks, with Musk's goal of having 1,500 of the systems orbiting Earth by the end of 2021.
SpaceX will be able to deliver cheaper, smoother internet to its more than 10,000 paying clients due to this. "The overall addressable market for launch, with a cautious perspective on commercial human travelers, is potentially around $6 billion, but the addressable market for global broadband is $1 trillion," said SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell in a recent interview with Daily Mail.
According to Tesmanian, if SpaceX will get 25 million Starlink subscribers, it would produce $30 billion in revenue each year. It went on to say that this is ten times more than the firm makes as a launch provider.
A SpaceX filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from February indicates that the Starlink satellite internet has more than 10,000 consumers. Per the filing, the service meets and reaches 100/20 megabits per second (Mbps) throughout individual users, with many users experiencing delays at or below 31 milliseconds.
Space X receives more than 500,000 orders of satellite internet service
On Tuesday, Elon Musk's SpaceX revealed that it has obtained over 500,000 orders for the satellite internet service it is launching. Per CNBC, during the launch webcast of SpaceX's 26th Starlink mission, operations engineer Siva Bharadvaj said, "Over half a million people have placed an order or put down a deposit for Starlink."
Starlink is the company's high-cost mission to create an integrated broadband network of thousands of satellites, recognized as a constellation in the space industry, to provide high-speed internet to users everywhere worldwide. With over 1,500 Starlink satellites deployed into space to date, it is also the world's biggest satellite constellation. In October, SpaceX launched a public beta program for Starlink, which costs $99 per month.
In comparison, the Starlink Kit, which contains a client terminal and a Wi-Fi router to connect to the satellites, costs $499 upfront. In early February, SpaceX started accepting $99 preorders for Starlink, though the company noted that the preorders are entirely refundable. And that placing a deposit does not guarantee service.
According to a February filing with the Federal Communications Commission, SpaceX started providing Starlink as a trial program in October and has since gathered more than 10,000 beta testers. Customers can position refundable $99 deposits to enter a waitlist for Starlink, which is currently open to a small number of users in a given region, as per Business Insider.
Although SpaceX's announcement of over half a million orders shows that interest for its service is increasing, it's uncertain how many will become monthly users or live in places where Starlink will operate. Though the service is intended to access every location on Earth, Musk tweeted Tuesday that the" only limitation is high density of users in urban areas."