Briefing

SpaceX is raising another US$500 million as internet satellite competition heats up

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The new funding comes four months after the space-exploration company announced a separate US$500-million raise. (Wall Street Journal)

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Talking point: In March, Amazon filed for regulatory approval to launch 3,236 satellites. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reacted to the news by calling Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a “copy🐈” on Twitter. SpaceX is ahead in terms of regulatory approvals—it received permission to launch 7,000 satellites in November 2018. SoftBank-backed OneWeb plans to launch 650 satellites, while Ottawa-backed Telesat plans to launch 300. Facebook is also looking at launching a new service after the first satellite it backed was destroyed in a space explosion. Despite all the interest, it’s unclear if there’s profit to be made in the internet satellite business. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell told The Wall Street Journal in February she was “pretty sure” the company could launch satellites into orbit, but the company is still asking itself, “Can you make money out of it?”