Elon Musk’s SpaceX is known for its frequent launches and currently dominates the space industry.but The satellites the rocket sends into space are just as important to the company as the launch itself. Starlink is SpaceX’s company that provides worldwide high-speed Internet coverage using a network of thousands of satellites that fly around the Earth in a region known as low Earth orbit (LEO) about 342 miles above the Earth’s surface. That’s the answer.
SpaceX launched its first batch of Starlink satellites in 2019. Since then, adoption of the service has skyrocketed. The company says Starlink has more than 2 million active customers and is available in more than 60 countries on all seven continents.
“The magnitude of this growth is unprecedented. Historically, satellite service providers have grown from 500,000 to just over 1 million subscribers. “This took 10 years. Starlink’s race to 2 million subscribers took only the better part of two years,” says Brent Prokosch, senior affiliate consultant at Euroconsult.
A Falcon 9 rocket launches the Starlink mission on January 20, 2021.
Experts estimate that the global market for consumer satellite services, including television, radio, and broadband internet, will be worth more than $92 billion in 2022. And Starlink could be well-positioned to capture a large slice of the market. Starlink’s products were initially conceived for the consumer segment, but have expanded to serve enterprise customers, including the maritime and aviation industries.
“The importance of Starlink to SpaceX as a whole as a company is essential. Euroconsult optimistically estimates that this business of Starlink could account for more than 40% of SpaceX’s overall business by the end of 2023. “This total will exceed $3 billion from Starlink,” Prokosh said.
Starlink is recognized for its ability to connect remote areas of the world without access to reliable internet. This service has become essential both in areas affected by natural disasters and, more recently, in times of conflict, particularly the war between Russia and Ukraine.
“The big advantage of Starlink and how it is used in Ukraine today is communication. Starlink provides a pathway for the military and civilians to maintain connections with the outside world. “This allows a conduit for militaries to communicate with each other and provide ‘command and control instructions to the military,'” said Kari Bingen, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. says.
After Russian troops withdrew from Kherson to Ukraine’s east bank of the Dnieper River on November 13, 2022, the Ukrainian military installed a Starlink satellite receiver to provide connectivity to civilians at Independence Square.
Metin Atkas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
But Starlink’s growing influence has drawn criticism from critics who accuse Mr. Musk of meddling in geopolitics. Meanwhile, the scientific community has its own concerns.
“The first launch of the Starlink satellites several years ago raised concerns in the astronomical community because the projection of a complete constellation of tens of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit would interfere with both optical observations and radio waves. “It was immediately recognized as an observation.” said Piero Benvenuti, interim general secretary of the International Astronomical Union.
Watch the video to learn more about Starlink’s rapid expansion and whether it can continue.