A Starlink user terminal that connects consumers to the company's satellite Internet service.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Monday reiterated the likelihood that his private space company will bring its Starlink satellite internet service to the public in the coming years.
"We'll likely go public with Starlink, but only a few years in the future if revenue growth is smooth and predictable," Musk said in a tweet. "The public market doesn't like erratic cash flow haha."
SpaceX leadership has already discussed the idea, and company president Gwynne Shotwell told a group of investors in February that "Starlink is the right kind of business to go public," adding that the company is could outsource it.
But a month later, Musk downplayed the idea, saying SpaceX hadn't focused on a Starlink IPO and "thought about that zero". Instead, Musk said at the time that Starlink's goal was SpaceX "to be in the" non-bankrupt "category," noting the number of companies that were unable to use satellite internet in the early 2000s. Build networks.
Starlink represents the company's ambitious plan to establish a networked Internet satellite network, also known as the "Constellation", to carry high-speed Internet around the world. The entire Starlink network would consist of 11,943 satellites flying near the planet, closer than the International Space Station, in what is known as near-earth orbit.
Musk sees Starlink as an important "opportunity for SpaceX to generate revenue that can be used to develop more and more advanced rockets and spaceships," he told reporters last year. Musk estimated that Starlink could generate $ 30 billion in annual revenue – or about ten times the highest annual revenue SpaceX expects from its nuclear missile business.
SpaceX deploys 60 Starlink satellites in orbit.
To date, SpaceX has launched more than 700 Starlink satellites.
The company is currently building a system of ground stations and user terminals to connect consumers directly to its network. In July, the FCC announced that SpaceX is building 120 satellites per month, as well as thousands of small terminals that consumers will use to connect to the network. Starlink is already seeing "exceptional demand" from potential customers, according to SpaceX. "Nearly 700,000 people" in the US say they are interested in the company's upcoming service.
SpaceX conducted a private beta test of Starlink this summer, which the company said recently showed that the network's internet speeds can play online video games and streaming movies. The staff tested Starlink's latency and download speed, important measures for an Internet service provider.
Most recently, SpaceX urged the FCC to expand testing further, and the company wanted to begin demonstrations with its seaworthy fleet of ships.
SpaceX plans to start a public beta test of Starlink once the private beta test is complete. The company plans to launch Starlink as a commercial service in the northern United States and southern Canada before the end of this year, with plans for "near global coverage of the populous world in 2021."
A stack of Starlink internet satellites about to take off.
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