How Elon Musk Plans to Pay for SpaceX to Reach Mars
The 12,000 satellite Starlink constellation could fund rocket development by selling faster, worldwide internet service
Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, SpaceX is the first private company to launch a reused rocket, to complete a resupply mission to the International Space Station, and, in 2020, to launch humans into orbit. Its reusable rockets allow the company to charge some of the cheapest rates available for carrying space cargo, and its spaceships have successfully ferried astronauts to the ISS for a fraction of what it cost predecessors. But Musk has far greater ambitions for his company, including building bigger rockets, bringing down cargo costs further, and most famously, transporting the first humans to Mars.
Still, even with reduced costs, aerospace manufacturing and launches come with enormous price tags. For Musk, the solution to this problem has been to fund SpaceX’s moonshot projects with money he makes elsewhere. This is where Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet project, comes in. Musk hopes the project will bring the internet to the hardest to reach regions around the world and expects this business to generate ten times more revenue than SpaceX’s core launch business by 2025. He plans to use this burgeoning and potentially wildly lucrative internet service to provide the much-needed funds for SpaceX’s flashy space travel ambitions.
Just by being able to view this page, you’re among the privileged half of the world’s population that has access to the internet.
The digital divide
If you’re viewing this page, you’re among the privileged half of the world’s population that has access to the internet. And if you’re accessing this article via a high-speed broadband connection, then you’re part of a far more exclusive club. The disparities of this digital divide have never been more exposed, with the pandemic forcing many to move online for their education or employment. This has left those without a reliable internet connection at an unfair disadvantage, including 40% of the 1.5 billion students who are currently out of classrooms but lacking…