The name SpaceX makes you think big, and that’s no surprise. CEO Elon Musk does have big ambitions for his SpaceX company. Here are two such projects worth mentioning:
The Starlink network aims to provide high-speed internet service to the entire planet at an optimal cost using thousands of low-Earth orbit satellites. SpaceX just received approval from the FCC to launch over 7,000 satellites for this purpose.
The company had received approval to launch over 4,000 satellites earlier in March. This will bring the total number of satellites in the network to around 12,000. SpaceX believes these satellites will make it possible to provide internet connections in rural areas and remote locations, and in February, the company launched two test satellites.
Starlink is being developed in Washington and is expected to take another five years or more to be completed. Although the total cost is estimated at around $10 billion, experts believe the amount is likely to increase going forward. SpaceX will also have to fulfil certain conditions related to the consumption of power and handling of space debris.
The BFR or Big Falcon Rocket is another one of Musk’s big plans. SpaceX intends BFR to be a nearly 350-foot tall reusable rocket that will replace the Falcon 9, Heavy and Dragon and bring all its engineering and resources into one system.
SpaceX is looking to launch the BFR in 2022 in a trip to Mars but securing funding has not been that easy. Earlier this month, Musk revealed plans to build a smaller version of the BFR that can be launched on a Falcon 9 booster.
This would help in determining and solving certain complicated aspects of the spacecraft which cannot be done in current conditions. The smaller model is likely to cost less and is expected to launch in 2019.