SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on November 2nd that the satellite internet division, Starlink, has achieved cash flow breakeven. Musk had previously stated in 2021 that if Starlink’s projected cash flow met expectations, SpaceX would consider spinning off Starlink and taking it public.
Since 2019, Starlink has surpassed 5,000 low Earth orbit satellites, positioning the company as the largest satellite operator in the world. It competes with satellite internet companies like Viasat and OneWeb, which was recently acquired by Eutelsat.
Musk tweeted on November 2nd that most of the active satellites currently in orbit belong to the Starlink system, and the majority of satellites to be launched next year will also be part of Starlink.
Starlink gained attention last year for providing crucial satellite communications for Ukraine in its conflict against Russia. Musk also recently mentioned that Starlink will collaborate with internationally recognized aid organizations to support communication networks in Gaza. This is in response to the disruption in phone and internet connectivity for the people of Gaza and their loss of contact with the outside world.
Musk has been working to establish the business division of Starlink as a key revenue source for SpaceX, making it more capital-intensive, such as for the next-generation Starship. The Starship is a large, reusable rocket that SpaceX plans to use for NASA’s moon missions in the next decade.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal in September, Starlink’s revenue in 2022 reached $1.4 billion, a sixfold increase from the previous year, but it has not yet reached Musk’s target. Currently, SpaceX is valued at approximately $150 billion, making it one of the most valuable private companies in the world.