SpaceX President: “Starlink will make money this year”
February 10, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, told delegates at a Federal Aviation Administration conference in Washington DC, that the Starlink broadband satellite “will make money” in 2023. She added that SpaceX’s Falcon launch rocket and Dragon space station spacecraft, and other unspecified work, already makes money for SpaceX.
Starlink enjoyed a positive subscriber count during the March 2022-December 2022 period and more than doubled in number.
“We actually had a cashflow positive quarter last year, excluding launch [costs]. This year, they’re paying for their own launches, and they will still make money,” said Shotwell.
But with SpaceX (and Starlink) being privately held there is no visibility on cash-flow, subscribers or even the different divisions of the business.
Inevitably, investment in SpaceX’s massive Starship project continues to be a drain on resources. “If we had done Starlink and then Starship, or Starship and then Starlink, we probably could have funded them through customer contracts and revenue from Falcon and Dragon. But you do both of them at the same time it’s a lot of money every year,” stated Shotwell.
Shotwell added that cash flow from SpaceX’s operations pays for development, supplemented as needed by fresh outside investment. Handling both Starlink and the Starship launch vehicle at the same time, she said, drives that need for outside investment.