SpaceX ‘plans IPO of Starlink’ as Musk’s broadband company readies next launch

SpaceX Starlink Rocket Launch.png

As SpaceX prepares for its latest Starlink satellite launch, due later today, investment advisers are becoming increasingly excited about the possibility that Elon Musk’s space company could float shares in the new venture.

SpaceX is planning to launch another 60 Starlink satellites today from Cape Canaveral as the next stage in building a worldwide broadband network of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

The launch is scheduled for 10:05 local time (15:05 UTC) today, with a back-up launch fixed for 14:42 UTC tomorrow.

SpaceX’s previous Starlink launch was in January, also of 60 tiny satellites, but the company aims for 1,440 in orbit by the end of 2020 and already has approval for a total of 12,000. Last October the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approached the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to seek a licence for another 30,000 Starlink satellites on top of the 12,000.

But the financial industry is becoming excited about the prospects that SpaceX could float Starlink’s some of shares in an initial public offer (IPO) that could value the LEO broadband internet company at $30 billion, with revenues of $10 billion a year.

An IPO would also likely make SpaceX owner Elon Musk a lot richer than Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, which has its own broadband satellite plans.

Satellite specialist Euroconsult said last year that the 2019-2028 market will be worth $42.8 billion, compared with $12.6 billion in the previous decade. But that report was written before Musk’s plans were so public: Euroconsult forecast total of 8,600 small satellites will be launched in the next decade, at an average of 835 each year by 2023, growing to an average of 880 a year by 2028.



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