cSpaceX CEO Elon Musk explained on Wednesday how the company’s Starlink satellite network will serve as the company’s key money-maker, unlocking his vision of sending astronauts to Mars.
Musk’s comments came on a call with media hours before the company’s first full launch of Starlink satellites. For the first time, Musk spoke to the network’s timeline and gave details about how the company’s satellites work. Musk also confirmed that SpaceX has the capital required to complete the project’s first major phase.
Starlink represents the company’s ambitious plan to build an interconnected internet satellite network, also known as a “constellation,” to beam high-speed internet to anywhere on the planet. The full Starlink network would consist of 11,943 satellites flying close to the planet, closer than the International Space Station, in what is known as low Earth orbit.
“We see this as a way for SpaceX to generate revenue that can be used to develop more and more advanced rockets and spaceships,” Musk said.
“We believe we can use the revenue from Starlink to fund Starship,” Musk added.
SpaceX has built and launched its Falcon series of rockets more than 70 times. While the rockets rank among the most powerful in the world, Musk’s ultimate vision is to send humans to live on Mars – which requires even larger rockets. That’s where Starship, the massive rocket SpaceX has begun testing over the last few months, comes in.