Elon Musk on Tuesday said that more than 500,000 preorders has been received by SpaceX for its Starlink satellite internet service and anticipates no technical problems meeting the demand.
Musk tweeted, “Only limitation is high density of users in urban areas,” responding to a CNBC reporter’s post that said the $99 deposits SpaceX took for the service were fully refundable and did not guarantee service. “More of a challenge when we get into the several million user range,” said Musk.
For Starlink’s service launch, a date is yet to be decided by SpaceX, but commercial service as previously planned would not likely be offered in 2020.
Eventually, the company plans to deploy 12,000 satellites in total and has also mentioned that the Starlink constellation will cost it roughly $10 billion.
A capital-intensive business is building and sending rockets to outer space, still, world’s two richest men, Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and Musk, who is also the chief of automaker Tesla Inc, have invested billions of dollars over the years to make inroads in this market. They have, publicly sparred over the competing satellite plans.
Last month, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave its approval for SpaceX’s plan to deploy some Starlink satellites at a lower earth orbit than planned, while also including a number of conditions to ensure the plan’s safety.
SpaceX moreover agreed to accept that their satellites may encounter interference from satellites deployed under Amazon’s Kuiper Systems satellite project.