SpaceX has produced a landmark number of Starlink terminals, Elon Musk reveals

It offers services on all seven continents of the world.
Ameya Paleja

SpaceX has crossed the milestone of producing a million Starlink terminals, the company's CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter earlier today. It is a significant boost for the satellite internet business of the space company, which began accepting preorders only 19 months ago.

The satellite internet is the new way of connecting the world. That can guarantee network coverage even in the remotest parts of the world. Fiber or cellular network-based internet requires the infrastructure to be connected to the last mile to ensure services; however, services like Starlink rely on a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbits that can deliver internet services directly from the skies.

In theory, this sounds pretty straightforward, and many companies have jumped on this bandwagon to connect the world to the internet. A similar project from Jeff Bezos received regulatory permissions in 2020, but the company is still figuring out the nitty-gritty of launching its 3,236 satellite strong constellation.

SpaceX's giant step forward

In sharp contrast, Elon Musk-led SpaceX has taken a giant leap forward by considering around 3,000 satellites, per the latest estimates. 2,500 are operational, while 500 are nearing their operational orbits, which have allowed the company to begin offering commercial services.

The company has the regulator's nod to launch 12,000 satellites and is already seeking permission to launch 30,000 more. SpaceX's ambitious moves also reflect its growing user base, which is above 500,000, EarthSky reported.

The Starlink user terminal consists of a receiving dish, a router, and connecting wires that provide interested users access to the Starlink satellite constellation. As Elon Musk confirmed, the company has manufactured over one million of these so far.

SpaceX's feat is commendable since Starlink began accepting preorders only in February 2021, 19 months ago. However, it is not surprising since the company raked up deposits for 500,000 terminals just a month later.

Where Starlink terminals are being used

Back in February 2021, Starlink's services were available only in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and Mexico. Today, the company's services span all continents of the globe.

Recently, a Starlink terminal was installed at the McMurdo station, the U.S. research station at the southern tip of Ross Island in Antarctica, Teslarati reported. Interesting Engineering has extensively covered how Starlink terminals were dispatched on a war footing after the Russian aggression in Ukraine and how it kept the internet connection secured in critical areas.

As of last week, Starlink's services are also operational in Iran, where unrest has prompted the ruling government to shut off internet services. Starlink's endeavor to provide services is more challenging here since the government has also initiated efforts to block satellite internet services, Teslarati said in its report.

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