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Starlink’s satellite internet already has half a million preorders

Of course, Elon Musk is very confident SpaceX and Starlink are up to the task.

spacex starlink satellite
Image: SpaceX

Starlink, the satellite internet service that’s part of SpaceX, has already taken 500,000 preorders. What’s impressive here isn’t the number, it’s that CEO Elon Musk is predictably bearish on being able to meet the demand.

That bit of info came from Musk’s own Twitter account, which was replying to the CNBC reporter who broke the news over the preorder milestone.

The only thing that could stop half a million households from getting their Starlink internet? Urban density, which is going to be a problem for any satellite-based internet service. Still, Musk says that won’t be an appreciable challenge until Starlink gets millions of users.

That makes sense if you think about it. The difficulty in urban areas is aiming the feeds from the satellites to individual dishes. It’s hard enough to aim from space to the ground, and things like apartments of differing heights compound the issue.

SpaceX has said it wants to put 12,000 of its cubesats up into near-Earth orbit to provide the Starlink service across the globe. That lofty goal will be expensive, possibly as much as $10 billion once completed.

With a commercial launch date that’s still up in the air, it seems SpaceX is going to have to keep burning cash to keep the dream of accessible internet alive.

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