Hot off its record-breaking crewed mission to the ISS, SpaceX is celebrating another milestone. The aerospace company has received more than 500,000 orders for its Starlink satellite-beamed internet service. SpaceX operations engineer Siva Bharadvaj revealed the latest figure during the launch webcast of its 26th Starlink mission on May 4th (aka Star Wars Day), which put another 60 internet broadband satellites in orbit. Overall, the company has delivered more than 1,500 Starlink satellites to date, making it the world's largest satellite constellation, according to CNBC.
Naturally, Elon Musk shared a tweet for the occasion, though it was uncharacteristically meme-free. Instead, the SpaceX founder outlined some of the technical hurdles Starlink could face as it looks to scale up its network.
"Only limitation is high density of users in urban areas. Most likely, all of the initial 500k will receive service. More of a challenge when we get into the several million user range," Musk said.
The latest update should see Starlink easily leap past the 10,000 users it reported in February following the launch of a public beta of its $99 per month service. That same month, the company also began accepting pre-orders, charging a $99 deposit and $499 for its hardware kit including a Wi-Fi router and dish, and extras for shipping and tax. It noted in the small print that pre-orders were fully refundable and “placing a deposit does not guarantee service.”
Only limitation is high density of users in urban areas. Most likely, all of the initial 500k will receive service. More of a challenge when we get into the several million user range.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 4, 2021