‘Starlink’ is the proposed name of a global mega-constellation of thousands of small satellites which billionaire Elon Musk is proposing to launch, and in the process to “change the world”.
SpaceX is Musk’s rocket company and its president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell, speaking on a TED talk, admitted that much of the public’s focus is on the rocket launching part of the business. “We actually don’t chat very much about this particular project [but] this is probably one of the most challenging – if not the most challenging – projects we’ve undertaken.”
Shotwell confirmed that the project is budgeted at $10 billion. “There’s no question it will change the world,” Shotwell said.
SpaceX’s project, known as Starlink in official FCC, plans to launch thousands of satellites on its rockets to low Earth orbit and which will eventually beam internet connectivity to Earth, bypassing the need for complicated ground-based infrastructure. Users, according to the FCC documents, need only have a laptop-sized terminal to gain connectivity to the constellation of nearly 12,000 fridge-sized satellites.