SpaceX Vice President of Commercial sales Tom Ochinero talks about the company actively working gaining commercial customers. The news was first reported by Jeff Foust, a Space News writer on Monday. Not long ago Elon Musk mentioned the possibility of SpaceX going bankrupt. Now as the VP talks about already having some commercial customers, the situation seems to have improved.
SpaceX aims to send the Starship 88% around the earth by 2022. As Ochinero talks about commercial customers, he also adds that SpaceX will be sending Starlink satellites initially. Later as the safety and other details are improved, human flights are to start. SpaceX is already in talks with insurers about the human and cargo flights on Starship.
Ochinero: talking to insurers about Starship, but initial flights will be with our Starlink satellites; by the time external customers ready to fly, we’ve reduced the risk and thus premiums. #WSBW
— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) December 13, 2021
While SpaceX was undoubtedly successful with Falcon 9 rocket by being able to reuse it multiple times. Considering the affordability, SpaceX has been able to pull off the deployment of its Starlink internet constellation. By launching more than 1800 satellites the company became the largest satellite operator in history within 3 years. Being a tough competition for other space companies, Falcon 9 dominates the global commercial launch market for both small and large launches. However, Falcon 9 remains at least one or two magnitudes too expensive and too performance-constrained. This is in reference to SpaceX’s grander ambitions to colonize Mars among many others. Sending people to Mars with Falcon 9 would be costlier and SpaceX made it possible to make another rocket with more cargo capacity. Starship-making has been going on for years now. Much slower than the timeline predicted by CEO Elon Musk.
Musk stated to his employees last month that the company is on the verge of going bankrupt. It is to be noted that SpaceX’s core funding goal has been to make humanity a multi-planetary species. By enabling the creation of one or several permanent, self-sustaining cities on Mars through Starship. Furthermore, a Starship or a fully reusable rocket is the most essential part. Without reusability, it would be relatively expensive to launch the large cargos to the space.
However, there is some truth in Musk’s statement to his employees. Falcon 9 can send 50 satellites to space with each weighing 300 kilograms. At this rate, the various launches to cover all over the earth would take years. It would be beyond the company could actually start earning effectively through Starlink dishes through customers. Recently the company launched V2 satellites which could relatively reduce costs for the making and increase profits. However, there are more challenges to this than it looks like from the outside. Possibly once the commercial launches take place, SpaceX might actually make it to colonizing the planet Mars.