SpaceX aims for 12 launches a month; eyes satellite-based phone service

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By IANS

Published : Oct 22, 2023, 11:06 AM IST

SpaceX aims for 12 launches a month as it eyes satellite-based phone service

We need the constellation refreshed and we’re also going to look at direct to cell communications with Starlink, and that's a key feature that gets added next year, a SpaceX official was quoted as saying. The goal is to put many more Starlink satellites in space to support the satellite-based cell phone service.

San Francisco : Elon Musk-run aerospace company SpaceX aims for 12 launches per month, or one launch in less than three days, the media reported. A company official told ArsTechnica that it is planning for 144 launches next year.

The goal is to put many more Starlink satellites in space to support the satellite-based cell phone service, due to launch next year as a texting-only service, with voice and data reportedly coming in 2025 and beyond. "With our 2 million users, we need that constellation refreshed. We’re also going to look at direct to cell communications with Starlink, and that's a key feature that gets added next year with those 144 flights,” the SpaceX official was quoted as saying in the report.

Last year, SpaceX launched 61 missions and in the last 12 months, SpaceX has launched 88 rockets, plus one test flight of the company's much larger Starship rocket to Mars.

The success in recovering and reusing Falcon 9 boosters and payload fairings has been vital to making this feat possible, said the report. Meanwhile, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday launched 23 Starlink internet satellites to orbit, the company's second mission in 24 hours. The 23 Starlink satellites are scheduled to deploy from the Falcon 9's upper stage about 65.5 minutes after launch, reports Space.com.

On Saturday, the company launched 21 Starlink satellites. Starlink provides affordable internet service to customers around the world. There are currently 4,900 operational Starlink satellites. Musk-run satellite internet service, which is searching for various routes to enter the growing Indian internet market, generated $1.4 billion revenue last year. This is up from $222 million in 2021 but $11 billion short of its original projections, according to reports.

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