SpaceX says it will increase the production of its Starlink user dishes to meet customer demand.
The company has a minimum of 400,000 preorders to fill. Right now, the company is making 5,000 user dishes each week. At its current rate, it would take 80 weeks to fulfill the current preorders alone.
To be on the list for SpaceX’s internet services business, consumers had to submit a $100 deposit.
Bret Johnsen, the chief financial officer of SpaceX, said production would increase significantly in the coming months according to a reporter for Space News.
Johnsen: we’re producing 5,000 Starlink dishes a week, and will have “multiples of that” in coming months. New, lower cost unit coming out later this fall. #SATShow
— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) September 7, 2021
During a panel appearance at the Satellite 2021 conference, Johnsen acknowledged that “the company is losing money on the user terminals it sells to Starlink subscribers, which cost far more than the $499 price set by the company,” per Space News.
In May, a SpaceX space operations engineer, Siva Bharadvaj, said during a broadcast that the satellite internet service had 500,000 pre-orders as part of the “Better Than Nothing Beta Test” of the service.
Last month, chief executive officer Elon Musk said 100,000 of those orders had been shipped to waiting customers.
100k terminals shipped!https://t.co/Q1VvqVmJ2i
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2021
NASA Space Flight reports that SpaceX is “nearing completion of the initial deployment for the constellation and preparing to expand its capabilities with extended geographic coverage and updated designs of both the satellites and ground equipment in their network.”
The first regulatory filings for Starlink were done in 2014.
In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday, Amazon accused SpaceX of being a “serial rule-breaker” in an attempt to intervene with the company’s proposed rapid timeline for launching its broadband satellites.
“Try to hold a Musk-led company to flight rules? You’re ‘fundamentally broken,’” Amazon wrote in the documents.
“This particular fight,” reports The Verge, “goes back to earlier this year when SpaceX proposed an update to its Starlink network, a vast constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit designed to beam broadband internet to rural areas with little to no internet connections. SpaceX has over 1,700 satellites in orbit so far, with about 100,000 customers using its internet services in a beta phase. Amazon is planning a similar satellite network called Kuiper with more than 3,000 satellites, but it hasn’t revealed production plans or launched any satellites to space yet.”
Earlier this month, SpaceX accused Amazon of trying to delay its proposed internet service in its own filing with the FCC.
The company wrote, “Amazon’s recent missive is unfortunately only the latest in its continuing efforts to slow down competition, while neglecting to resolve the Commission’s concerns about Amazon’s own non-geostationary orbit (‘NGSO’) satellite system.”