SpaceX has shipped 100,000 Starlink terminals, says Elon Musk

24 Aug 2021

Image: © nana/

This represents an increase of 30,000 since June, when Musk said the service could have half a million users within a year.

SpaceX has now shipped 100,000 terminals for its Starlink satellite internet service, CEO Elon Musk has claimed.

Musk posted a series of tweets yesterday (23 August) in which he quoted the number, up from the 90,000 the company reported to the US Federal Communications Commission in late July.

In June, Musk said the service had reached 70,000 users and would have “a few hundred thousand users, possibly over 500,000” within 12 months. At that time, he also said investment in the network would be between $5bn and $10bn before achieving positive cash flow, and that long-term investment could be between $20bn and $30bn.

Musk’s tweets this week noted that the service is now available in 14 countries: the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand.

“Our license applications are pending in many more countries,” he added. “Hoping to serve Earth soon!”

SpaceX previously said that it plans to spin off and publicly list Starlink. Virgin Orbit, the commercial satellite launch company spun off from Virgin Galactic, recently announced plans to go public via a $3.2bn merger deal.

Starlink is creating a network of low-orbit satellites that has the potential to bring internet to users anywhere in the world, regardless of local infrastructure. In Ireland, the system has been trialled by residents in rural areas of west Cork and Kerry.

However the service, which is currently in open beta, costs users $499 upfront for the terminal and $99 a month thereafter. This price could limit the accessibility of roll-out.

Additionally, the Starlink network has been widely criticised by astronomers for its impact on their ability to conduct research. In April, the International Astronomical Union asked the United Nations to take action on the issue. The network currently contains more than 1,700 individual satellites with plans for about 30,000 more.

In May, SpaceX announced a partnership with Google to co-locate Starlink ground stations with Google data centres.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin