A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in February 2018, sending the first two Starlink demonstration satellites into orbit. (SpaceX via YouTube)
SpaceX confirmed that it will launch dozens of Starlink satellites in one go, as early as May 15, setting the stage for what’s expected to become a constellation of thousands of satellites providing global broadband data access from low Earth orbit.
The company’s president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, laid out those details today at the Satellite 2019 conference in Washington, D.C. In an email exchange with GeekWire, SpaceX confirmed what Shotwell said but could add no further information.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk launched the Starlink project in 2015 in Seattle, telling VIPs and developers that the constellation could spread high-speed internet access to the billions of people around the world who lack such access today — and generate the revenue SpaceX would need to build a city on Mars. Income from Starlink is said to figure prominently in SpaceX’s projections for its bottom line.
The Starlink satellite development program is headquartered at SpaceX’s facilities in Redmond, Wash. Last year, the Redmond operation was reorganized to accelerate design and testing.