SpaceX is steadily building out its Starlink internet satellite constellation in orbit around the planet, and ground service is already available to customers across several countries. Using Starlink to provide internet access that’s actually reliable on flights has also been a goal of SpaceX for the last year. A new report from Bloomberg today cites a SpaceX VP in saying that the company wants Starlink service on flights to happen “as soon as possible”.
Starlink is in talks with several airlines about offering in-flight broadband connections, Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of commercial sales, said Tuesday on a panel at the Airline Passenger Experience Association gathering in Long Beach, California. […] He didn’t disclose details of the testing or how advanced the company’s discussions with airlines are.
As recently as June, Elon Musk has described the state of Starlink for planes so far.
“Schedule driver there is regulatory approval,” Musk explained. “Has to be certified for each aircraft type. Focusing on 737 & A320, as those serve most number of people, with development testing on Gulfstream.”
The article goes on to summarize Space Explored’s Starship and Starlink reporting from last night:
The Space Explored blog reported Monday that SpaceX founder Elon Musk raised the potential of a bankruptcy filing in an internal memo if the company is unable to fix production issues on its Raptor engines, which power the company’s newest and largest rocket, Starship. The vehicle is needed to launch the next iteration of Starlink’s satellites, Musk wrote.
Elon Musk has since responded to coverage of the leaked email obtained by Space Explored with further explanation of his thinking in the memo.
“If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability / liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink & Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible,” Musk said. “GM & Chrysler went BK last recession,” he added.
“The magnitude of the Starship program is not widely appreciated,” Musk continued. “It is designed to extend life to Mars (and the moon), which requires ~1000 times more payload to orbit than all current Earth rockets combined.”