SpaceX Plans Next-Generation Starlink v1.5 and v2.0 Satellites

According to a job posting spotted on SpaceX’s Careers page on Friday, the aerospace pioneer is gearing up to begin development on the next generation of its Starlink internet satellites (via CNBC).

According to the posting in question, the Musk-owned company is looking for a lead software engineer for its Starlink project to “define and lead [the] test software roadmap for Starlink v1.5 and v2.0 production.”

SpaceX’s Starlink project is a satellite internet constellation that aims to provide high-speed internet services across the globe, especially to areas devoid of it.

SpaceX currently produces v0.9 and v1.0 of its Starlink satellites, with over 1,000 of those already in orbit. SpaceX even has 10 satellites with intuitive laser links in polar orbit at the time of writing.

Back in November 2018, the Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX permission to launch 11,943 Starlink satellites. The company plans to deploy 4,425 satellites in orbit by 2024, more than four-fold of what’s up in space now.

If SpaceX can continue to launch 120 satellites per month, it can easily achieve and exceed this target. The next Starlink launches are set for February 1 and 3 of next week.

According to SpaceX director David Goldman, the company aims to turn its current download speeds of 100 Mbps all the way up to 10 Gbps in the future. That is certainly a tall order, and next-generation satellites could prove instrumental in fulfilling it.

What improvements and innovations v1.5 and v2.0 of Starlink’s satellites will bring to the table, however, remains to be seen.

Starlink is currently running as an opt-in beta in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K, with plans to expand in the near future.