Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Thursday gave an update on its Starlink internet service, as the company launched more satellites into orbit.
SpaceX engineer Jessie Anderson said during a webcast of the company’s first launch of the year that Starlink now has more than 145,000 users in 25 countries around the world. That’s up from 140,000 users in early November but represents a slowdown in user growth.
The company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida on Thursday, carrying 49 Starlink satellites toward orbit.
Starlink is the company’s plan to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites — known in the space industry as a constellation. It’s designed to deliver high-speed internet to consumers anywhere on the planet. SpaceX has about 1,800 Starlink satellites in orbit.
The increase of 5,000 users in two months represents a slowdown in growth. Until November, SpaceX had added roughly 11,000 users per month since beginning service in October 2020.
Late last year SpaceX noted on its website that “silicon shortages have delayed production” of Starlink user terminals, “which has impacted our ability to fulfill orders.”
SpaceX’s valuation has soared beyond $100 billion, which industry analysts attribute in large part to the market potential of its Starlink service. CNBC