SpaceX Proposes Utilizing Starship to Launch Starlink Satellites as Recognition Surges

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on January 24, 2021 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
SpaceX’s satellite-based internet service Starlink is gaining new users at a record pace. Less than a year since Starlink rolled out beta service, more than 100,000 user terminals have been shipped globally, Elon Musk tweeted Monday afternoon.
In an update with the Federal Communications Commission on July 29, SpaceX said it had 90,000 Starlink users in 12 countries. That represented 20,000 new user registrations in a single month since Musk’s last update in June. His tweets this week suggest that Starlink has expanded to two more countries and attracted at least 10,000 new users in August.
“Our license applications are pending in many more countries. Hoping to serve Earth soon!” Musk tweeted Monday.

Now serving 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 🇬🇧 🇩🇪 🇫🇷 🇦🇹 🇳🇱 🇮🇪 🇧🇪 🇨🇭 🇩🇰 🇵🇹 🇳🇿 🇦🇺
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2021
SpaceX told the FCC in its July update that Starlink had over half a million new orders waiting to be fulfilled.
To date, SpaceX has deployed more than 1,700 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, forming a constellation large enough to beam high-speed internet signals down across the globe, including remote areas where cable and fiber-optic internet is unavailable.
SpaceX ultimately plans to build a constellation of nearly 30,000 satellites—that’s ten times the number of active satellites currently orbiting Earth. The company has the FCC’s green light to launch 12,000 satellites and is applying for broader permission.
In an application for the next-generation Starlink deployment, submitted to the FCC on August 18, SpaceX proposed two new configurations for the constellation, one of which would use the Starship rocket to launch future satellites.
“SpaceX has found ways to leverage the advanced capabilities of its new launch vehicle, Starship, that has increased capability to deliver more mass to orbit quickly and efficiently and, combined with reuse capability of the upper stage, launch more often,” the company said in the application. “Further, Starship allows SpaceX to iterate from its original satellite design and deploy next-generation satellites with more capacity and throughput, providing even further improvements for consumers to its already high-throughput, low-latency service.”
The other configuration would continue using the current setup, which involves a Falcon 9 rocket, for future satellite launches.
SpaceX noted in the application that the Starship configuration was its “preferred scenario.”
Starlink’s beta service costs $99 a month, as well as a $499 upfront fee for a user terminal, which customers can easily install by themselves.

SpaceX reaches 100K Starlink prospects. Right here’s how to enroll

SpaceX has now shipped 100,000 Starlink terminals to customers who’ve signed up for the company’s internet-from-space service.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk dropped the news in a tweet on Monday, August 23. It means the company has added 90,000 new customers to its beta service in just six months. The company opened Starlink to its first paying customers in October 2020 and it now serves 12 countries, with more on the way.
Starlink uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to beam down broadband connectivity to customers on the ground using a Starlink dish.
SpaceX has been sending Starlink satellites into orbit since May 2019 and currently has more than 1,700 of them circling Earth.
The goal is to blanket the planet with affordable and reliable broadband connectivity, with a particular focus on communities in remote areas that have little or no access to decent internet services.
Starlink says current download speeds via its service should be around 100 Mbps, though reports online suggest they can be anywhere between 60 Mbps and 150 Mbps.
How to sign up to Starlink
First, you’ll need to find out if Starlink’s beta service is available your area. To do so, simply head to its website and fill in your details. If it’s accessible, you’ll be invited to sign up.
Customers in the U.S. will need to pay $499 for the necessary hardware, and then $99 a month for the internet service. Shipping and handling costs $50, with tax coming in at about $33. You can get the ball rolling by handing over a $99 deposit, and you’ll receive a notification when your order is ready to ship. Note the small print at the bottom of the page: “Depending on location, some orders may take six months or more to fulfill.”
SpaceX isn’t the only company working to provide internet connectivity via Earth-orbiting satellites. U.K.-based OneWeb is also building a constellation, with its most recent batch of satellites heading skyward just a few days ago. With 288 satellites in orbit and more on the way, OneWeb is planning to launch a trial broadband service in Alaska and Canada by the end of this year, with more locations coming in 2022. Amazon has also outlined plans for its Project Kuiper service that could comprise a constellation of some 3,200 satellites, though the company has yet perform any launches.

Editors’ Recommendations