SpaceX’s president Gwynne Shotwell, speaking at the Hong Kong CASBAA convention on October 27th, said that far from backing a 4000 constellation of satellites, the scheme is “very speculative” at the moment.
Shotwell told delegates that the concept was being looked at but a deeper assessment of its business case was needed. “We don’t have a lot of effort going into that right now,” according to trade mag Space News.
“Certainly I think that from a technical perspective this could get done. But can we develop the technology and roll it out with a lower-cost methodology so that we can beat the prices of existing providers like Comcast and Time Warner and other people? It’s not clear that the business case will work,” Shotwell said.
Shotwell’s boss, billionaire Elon Musk, announced the 4000 satellite plan in January, and at the same time announced that Google and investment fund Fidelity Investments has together put $1 billion into SpaceX and helped drive the valuation of the company to $11 billion.
Google, in a February SEC filing, said their investment had been made to further SpaceX’s work in “areas of space transport, reusability and satellite manufacturing”.