SpaceX has publicly shared details about its Starlink constellation programs along with updated targets for its commercial services, satellite design and reason behind its thought process of having a constellation of 12000 satellites which is six times the number of satellites that are already in orbit. The first launch of SpaceX with large number of satellites has been pushed back to 16th May and during its first mission Falcon 9 will carry 60 Starlink satellites. Even though these spacecraft lack intersatellite links and other details, CEO Elon Musk has affirmed that these are the start of massive deployment of satellites to set up a constellation which will provide internet access to locations that have remained unreachable and un-served in various parts of the world. He told that the total constellation of 1000 satellites will make the Starlink network economically solid and viable.
SpaceX had earlier asked the government for and also received access by US market for setting up constellation of 12000 satellites. Mr. Musk stated that reaching the target of 12000 satellites would be a highly successful outcome but that target is yet to be reached as COO Gwynne stated that there are likely to be between three to seven launches of Starlink satellites this year. Subsequent launches would carry around 60 satellites after that. Mr. Musk announced that soon SpaceX would use the Falcon rockets to launch at least 1000 – 2000 satellites every year. He said that they are aiming to have their Starship ready by the time they reach target of 12000 satellites constellation. As per report of Bryce Space and Technology released on 8th May there are around 2100 working satellites in the orbit today. According to SpaceX’s VP Mark Juncosa, around 12 launches of Starlink will give it complete coverage of United while 24 will help to cover most of the world’s population while 30 launches will be enough for it to cover the entire planet.