SpaceX Starlink Maritime Coverage by Mid-2022, Says Elon Musk

Responding to a tweet that inquired about Starlink coverage at sea, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Saturday that the satellite internet service should achieve global maritime coverage “by roughly middle of next year.”

Starlink is SpaceX’s high-speed satellite broadband project designed to provide affordable internet at viable speeds anywhere and everywhere. In March, SpaceX filed plans to take Starlink mobile, with the intention of installing terminals on airplanes, seacraft, big trucks, and the like.

A Starlink terminal was spotted aboard ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ — one of SpaceX’s autonomous spaceport drone ships, back in July, so the service does work at sea. However, Musk noted in his tweet that Starlink service “will be patchy when far from land,” until SpaceX can get enough next-generation Starlink satellites with laser links into orbit.

SpaceX currently has well over 1,600 Starlink satellites in orbit, with more on the way. The majority aren’t equipped with laser terminals, however, which is what the service needs for maritime coverage across the globe.

At the beginning of the month, Starlink finally dropped “beta” from its name after over a year of public testing. The service broke 600,000 pre-orders in September and announced it was manufacturing 5,000 Starlink terminals per week at the time.