The founder of the aerospace company Spacex, Elon Musk, expects to have half a million active users on his Starlink internet network in a year and will do “everything possible” to launch in the coming months. the first unmanned orbital flight of the Starship rocket, according to said Tuesday.
The South African-born tycoon took part in a talk on the second day of the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2021, in its acronym in English) from Barcelona, in which he participated virtually from California.
According to Musk, the Starlink network – which aims to provide high-speed, constant and affordable internet anywhere in the world via satellites – recently surpassed the 70,000 users and expects to grow exponentially to reach half a million customers in about twelve months.
To date, he recalled, they have already released more than 1,500 satellites, which can cover practically all regions of the planet, especially the most inhospitable; and the goal is to try perform an orbital Starship launch within the next few months.
Elon Musk, speaking at the Mobile World Congress. AFP photo
“In August we should have global connectivity for all parts of the world except the poles“, he predicted.
Musk explained that Starlink will cover the areas where fiber internet or 5G technology does not reach, and where “there is a need for connectivity”, but it is “limited or expensive.”
“Next year we will begin to launch version two of our satellite. We will begin to bring our gateways and points of presence directly to our server centers. We don’t want to be too confident, but it looks like it will be quite positive for the major telcos, fiber and 5G companies, “he added.
Starlink already has 70 thousand users. Reuters photo
The businessman also specified that Starlink terminals currently cost about $ 500 in any country in the world -without counting taxes or import fees-, although work is underway to find cheaper devices.
“Honestly, we are losing money on that terminal right now, which costs more than $ 1,000 to produce“, he stressed, after explaining that the internet service has a price of one hundred euros per month and that anyone can install it to have a connection in about five minutes:” Point to the sky and plug it in, “he synthesized.
He also specified that the investment required by Starlink varies between 5,000 and 10,000 million dollars, although, over time, he stressed, the amount could go up to $ 20 to $ 30 billion“Enough money!” He exclaimed.
New space technology
On the other hand, he indicated that SpaceX was born to achieve that life can be “multiplanetary“, with the main mission of” expanding the scope of consciousness beyond Earth so that we can increase the opportunities that the future is good. “
To do this, he stressed, it is necessary to “drastically” improve spacecraft technology: “The holy grail is reliable rockets and quickly reusable. With the Falcon 9 we have achieved the most efficient usability of any rocket to date with boosters that now they already flew 10 times“.
In this sense, he indicated that the technology that is being implemented is “very advanced“and starts from a different point of view than the one usually used.
“Space technology tends to be old technology that has been shown to work on the ground. We take the opposite approach and take a chance. It’s fair to see that we have the most advanced space ray technology outside of the military. “
Musk confessed that his work is based on the philosophy that “we don’t know what the answers are or what questions to askBut if we can expand our range of consciousness, we will know better what questions to ask about the universe. “