Starlink Satellite Success Can Pay Big

Elon Musk has several dreams, including colonizing Mars, but he also wants to bring high-speed internet service to all of our good old planet Earth, thanks to his company SpaceX. If this project, called Starlink, goes ahead, the space company could be worth more than $120 billion.

Starlink and its tens of thousands of satellites

Conventional satellite internet today uses a handful of large, old space-based devices that are expensive to deploy and operate. They rotate in a distant orbit, 36,000 kilometers from our ground, which increases transmission times, causes slowness and recurrent loss of connection, at a very high cost.

The Starlink project aims to place 12,000 satellites above our heads, much more compact and therefore easier to put into orbit. This constellation of minisatellites, much more numerous but much less expensive, will be placed a few hundred kilometers from Earth. This short distance will reduce transmission delay as much as possible to ensure reliable high speed internet connection all over the world.

SpaceX received the green light from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy 4,400 satellites after initial conclusive testing in February, and the Texas company has just received a new authorization for 7,000 satellites in recent weeks.

Elon Musk expects 12,000 satellites to be in orbit by 2027. The American billionaire wants at least 1,000 spacecraft to be installed by 2021, and he estimates that “within a year and a half, maybe two years, SpaceX will likely have more satellites in orbit.” than all other satellites combined.”

However, it will have to face significant competition, as other large companies also intend to deploy their satellite constellations, in particular Kepler, LeoSat, Telesat or, of course, Kuiper from the giant Amazon.

An ambitious and coherent project

If NASA spoke out to denounce the risk of too much space waste, Elon Musk reacted quickly by asking the FCC for authorization to place Starlink satellites in orbit at a lower altitude, which would give the possibility of recovering satellites at the end of their useful life. more easily.

The cost-cutting policy makes SpaceX’s project more coherent than some competitors. Launchers that put satellites into orbit are reusable and the Starsip launch system design, which can put up to 60 satellites into orbit at the same time, could reduce costs by 100 to 1000 times.

SpaceX could be worth up to $120 billion

In May, after SpaceX successfully deployed the first 60 Starlink satellites, the company was valued at $33.3 billion, according to CNBC. Nothing amazing, it’s even well below the Tesla company also owned by Elon Musk.

Today, a report from Morgan Stanley Research estimates that SpaceX would be worth about $52 billion if the Starlink project came to fruition. Analysts estimate that the various satellite constellations are expected to provide high-speed Internet access to 75% of the world’s population, compared to 50% today. If SpaceX gets 10% of these new subscribers, the estimate of 52 billion should be reached.

At best, SpaceX could panic the counters with a valuation of up to $120 billion, which would obviously be grandiose for the space company. The more pessimistic also see a very different scenario, with a satellite service that is not very functional, which ends up not offering a reliable connection and, therefore, attracts very few customers. In that case, SpaceX’s valuation could drop to $5 billion.

Anyway, the project is very promising, and if nothing gets in the way of SpaceX’s plans, this company could change the way we use the internet and become one of the most important and richest companies on the planet.

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