February 21, 2024

Less than a week after billionaire investor Ron Baron said Starlink would go public in “2027, or so,” there’s now hints that the timeline may be pushed sooner than he had envisioned.

SpaceX is considering clearing the initial public offering (IPO) for take-off as soon as late 2024, according to Bloomberg.

Elon Musk’s famed space company is reportedly moving Starlink assets to a wholly owned subsidiary that would eventually be spun off in the IPO. It is unclear how much ownership SpaceX would retain of the satellite unit.

Starlink is expected to become SpaceX’s most revenue-generating business, its product is already available in seven continents and approved in more than 60 countries, which attracted more than 2 million subscribers.

SpaceX reportedly is expecting the satellite sales to reach $10 billion next year, with the potential to rake in $30 billion annually. Musk has said there will be a limit to how much the launch business would make, but satellites have more earning capacity. Overall, the space company is on track to end this year with $9 billion in revenue, with sales projected to rocket to $15 billion in 2024, according to Bloomberg.

Rocket about to launch from the pad in Florida

United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the first two demonstration satellites for Amazon’s Project Kuiper broadband internet constellation stands ready for launch on pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on October 5, 2023 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States.
Photo: Paul Hennesy/Anadolu Agency (Getty Images)

The race to conquer low orbit space

The speed in which satellites are launching to space is accelerating. Right now, SpaceX owns more than half of the satellites in space with more than 5,000 units in orbit, where Musk expects to catapult its megaconstellation of 42,000 units by end of next year.

UK’s OneWeb and the Chinese government trail behind, owning less than 10% currently in orbit. But the race is going to heat up—one tech player expects to add 3,236 satellites to the mix.

That’s Amazon. Its team has been working on “Project Kuiper” since 2018, and has been granted the license to deploy and operate satellites in July 2020 by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The license requires the company to launch at least half its constellation by July 2026. The tech giant expects it to have it ready for its first customers by end of 2024.

Note, Project Kuiper does not live under Blue Origin, the company started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, but it will use Blue Origin’s rockets to carry the payload, along with rockets from the United Launch Alliance.

With low orbit space becoming a crowded area, it won’t be long that space collision and debris will become an issue. The US Space Force is already working on solutions.

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