- Starlink could help fund Elon Musk’s long-term Mars ambitions, says SpaceX’s president.
- Gwynne Shotwell said funding development meant going into markets bigger “than the one you’re in.”
- Musk wants to get humans to Mars by 2026 but experts are wary.
SpaceX’s president Gwynne Shotwell has discussed how its Starlink satellite broadband company could help Elon Musk realise his much-discussed Mars ambitions.
In an interview with Via Satellite, Shotwell was asked to explain the thought process was when Starlink was first conceived. She responded by saying that Musk was mulling it over for some time.
Shotwell said: “The total addressable market for launch, with a conservative outlook on commercial human passengers, is probably about $6 billion,” she said, “but the addressable market for global broadband is $1 trillion.”
She added: “If you want to help fund long-term Mars development programs, you want to go into markets and sectors that are much bigger than the one you’re in, especially if there’s enough connective tissue between that giant market, and what you’re doing now. That’s how I recall it, but that’s a good question for Elon.”
Musk wants to send humans to Mars by 2026, though doubts have been cast on that timeframe. To achieve the goal, he hopes to build 1,000 Starships — the fully reusable transport system that has the capacity to carry 100 people to the Red Planet — over 10 years. That’s 100 Starships per year, as previously reported by Insider.
Eventually, Musk is seeking to launch an average of three Starships per day and make the trip to Mars accessible to anyone.
Musk aims to shoot 12,000 internet satellites into orbit by 2027, where Starlink users will be provided with a broadband internet service.
According to Tesmanian, if SpaceX obtains 25 million Starlink subscribers, it would generate about $30 billion every year. This is 10 times more than what the company earns as a launch provider, it added.
Insider’s Dave Mosher previously reportedthat SpaceX is not planning for Starlink to be just another arm of the space company. Instead, it wants to build a service that brings in a multi-billion profit under its own steam.