(SpaceX)Based on past analysis of SpaceXs Redmond centers, the business has about 150,000 square feet (14,000 m ^ 2) to work with, of which a third to half is likely devoted to a satellite assembly line. By mass, it indicates that SpaceX is churning out more than 30 metric tons (~ 69,000 pound) of satellites every single month, a figure practically definitely unmatched in the history of satellite production.
Ever considering that SpaceXs first devoted Starlink launch in May 2019, the company has stayed very secretive about the unmatched satellite production infrastructure it also had to develop. Aside from a few comments by CEO Elon Musk and the occasional bit from regulatory files or spaceflight conferences, very little is understood and not a single image has actually been launched. An FCC ex parte presentation with a few particular information hence came as a surprise, revealing that SpaceX is constructing at least 120 Starlink satellites per month in its Redmond, Washington factory.
(SpaceX)Based on past analysis of SpaceXs Redmond facilities, the business has about 150,000 square feet (14,000 m ^ 2) to work with, of which a third to half is most likely devoted to a satellite assembly line. By mass, it indicates that SpaceX is churning out more than 30 metric tons (~ 69,000 pound) of satellites every single month, a figure almost definitely unmatched in the history of satellite manufacturing.
That remarkable performance will, as CEO Elon Musk has kept in mind numerous times, hopefully make Starlink the very first low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite web constellation in history to not go bankrupt. The company wants to begin rolling out a much wider Starlink beta test after the 14th v1.0 satellite launch– presently 4 launches away. Starlink might end up being the first LEO internet constellation in history to begin creating substantial revenue not long after if all goes well throughout that beta test.
An animation of SpaceXs Starlink satellite constellation. (SpaceX)Sustained over 12 months, that would relate to ~ 360 metric heaps (10% much heavier than a fully-fueled Falcon 9 V1.0 rocket) of satellites built every year. In other words, with an incredibly small (and hence efficient) main office, SpaceX is routinely producing a large amount of satellites– enough to indefinitely sustain 2 full Starlink launches each month. At that rate, SpaceX might fairly easily finish the Starlink constellations first ~ 4400-satellite stage in just 3 years.
In other words, SpaceX has actually obviously invested less– and possibly much less– than $1 billion creating, making, and launching almost 600 satellites. For contrast, rival OneWeb obviously invested more than $3.4 billion and filed for bankruptcy prior to it had actually launched even 100 satellites.
Currently the single biggest satellite constellation worldwide by a factor of three or more, Starlink is more than 500 functional satellites strong after simply nine months of launches, and the business has at least 5-8 more missions prepared in between now and the end of 2020. To further expand the worlds largest satellite constellation, though, SpaceX also needs to be the worlds most prolific satellite producer by a minimum of an order of magnitude.
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An animation of SpaceXs Starlink satellite constellation. In brief, with a very small (and hence effective) base of operations, SpaceX is frequently producing a vast amount of satellites– enough to indefinitely sustain 2 full Starlink launches per month.
Production capacity or effectiveness would need to expand significantly for SpaceX to complete the second (~ 12,000 satellites) and third (~ 40,000 satellites) phases of the Starlink constellation, By then, though, the very first phase would likely be creating substantial revenue, optimistically permitting SpaceX to self-fund future growth or a minimum of dramatically minimizing the requirement for fundraising.
SpaceX has revealed a couple of key details about its growing Starlink satellite web constellation in a recent regulatory presentation, discussing overall financial investment, user terminal development, and its spacecraft manufacturing abilities.