For some months it has been rumoured that Elon Musk’s plans to build a global mega-constellation of some 4425 low orbiting broadband satellites (Starlink) was paused, and even cancelled. ‘Not so’ implied a speaker at last week’s Satellite Innovation conference in Mountain View, California.
Steve Jurvetson, a shareholder in SpaceX (and a number if other space-related ventures) told delegates that the two test satellites launched by the SpaceX team, Tintin1 and 2, were “working wonderfully” he further implied that Musk’s plans – despite the other challenges the billionaire was facing – “were clearly in the lead”.
Moreover, Jurvetson added that because the satellites were working so well it meant that the team could now proceed with design specifications for either Ku-band or Ka-band operation.
Jurvetson is well-placed to make a valuable comment. He sits on the board of directors of SpaceX and Tesla and was an early investor in Hotmail.
Elon Musk, back in May, said that the prototypes would lead to further design changes on the proposed fleet, and observers expect another pair of pre-production craft to be launched into test orbits.