SpaceX is outsourcing a key element of its Starlink satellite-internet network with a manufacturing deal worth billions of dollars, an industry insider tells Business Insider.
Company reps have revealed less about the production of its consumer-facing Starlink user terminal — the satellite dish that allows customers to get service — including who's building them, or where, or at what cost.
The trick to making that happen, information shared with Business Insider suggests, may be paying $2.4 billion to STMicroelectronics, a Swiss advanced electronics manufacturing giant, to crank out 1 million Starlink user terminals.
Musk has referred to Starlink's user terminal as a "UFO on a stick," and a satellite-communications expert previously told Business Insider the device is "one of the most sophisticated pieces of electronics" he's ever seen offered to consumers.
SpaceX successfully launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets on Tuesday night for a record-breaking seventh time, delivering 60 satellites to orbit for its Starlink satellite-internet service.
The launch marked SpaceX's 100th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket and its 16th Starlink mission.
The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:13 p.m. on Tuesday.
Around nine minutes later, the Falcon 9 booster's first stage came back down to Earth, landing on SpaceX's drone ship called "Of Course I Still Love You," which was positioned northeast of Cape Canaveral in the Atlantic Ocean.
On October 18, SpaceX kicked off its public beta test for Starlink, called the "Better Than Nothing Beta." The company began testing the service in the northern US and southern Canada, and plans to launch a full public beta test in North America soon.