Elon Musk’s SpaceX has received more than 500,000 orders so far for the satellite internet service it’s rolling out, the company announced on Tuesday.
“To date, over half a million people have placed an order or put down a deposit for Starlink,” SpaceX operations engineer Siva Bharadvaj said during the launch webcast of its 26th Starlink mission.
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Starlink is the company’s capital-intensive project to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites — known in the space industry as a constellation — designed to deliver high-speed internet to consumers anywhere on the planet.
It’s also now the world’s largest satellite constellation, with more than 1,500 Starlink satellites launched to orbit to date.
SpaceX in October began a public beta program for Starlink, with service priced at $99 a month. That’s in addition to a $499 upfront cost to order the Starlink Kit, which includes a user terminal and Wi-Fi router to connect to the satellites.
The company then began accepting $99 preorders for Starlink in early February, although SpaceX emphasized that the preorders are “fully refundable,” noting in fine print that “placing a deposit does not guarantee service.”
Separately, three months ago SpaceX disclosed in a filing with federal regulators that Starlink had “over 10,000 users in the United States and abroad” as of February.
While SpaceX’s announcement of over half a million orders indicates growing demand for its service, it is unclear how many will become monthly users or are in areas that Starlink will service. Though the service is designed to reach any place on Earth, the “[o]nly limitation is high density of users in urban areas,” Musk tweeted Tuesday.