Musk Confirms SpaceX Satellite Venture, Slaps Down WSJ Reporting

An update to Monday’s story regarding the Wall Street Journal report that Elon Musk and Greg Wyler are going into the satellite manufacturing business.  Info comes via Musk’s Twitter account, and includes a slap down on WSJ reporting.

Based on the admittedly sparse information contained in the first tweet, it appears that SpaceX, and a not a separate company will actually be undertaking the satellite construction. As for the details, they are clearly several months away, but the implications are intriguing.

A bit of speculation here:

While the company will be apparently be focused on micro-satellites, presumably for internet connectivity, one has to wonder if success in this field would lead it to cast an eye towards larger ComSats as well. SpaceX has already successfully exploited the high costs and inefficiencies built into the current suite of international launchers.  Perhaps it sees the similar opportunities in the spacecraft themselves.

After all, in the domestic U.S. market, if United Launch Alliance is as successful in reducing the costs of EELV class launchers the company claims, it is a fair bet that Boeing and Lockheed Martin are going to do everything possible to secure launch orders for the satellites they build on the vehicles they own.

Furthermore, with Europe, China, Russia and India all circling the wagons regarding domestic launch capability even as they attempt to offer package deals to non space-faring countries, that segment of the launch market which is actually open to commercial competition is going to come under further pressure.

Finally, regarding the WSJ slap down; we wont’t know how wrong the article was until further details of the satellite venture are released, but as Innerspace pointed out again yesterday, that organization’s reporting where SpaceX is consistently suspect.



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