According to recent Twitter comments from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink, could be launched in a more portable form in the future. During a recent conversation on the social media platform, Musk acknowledged that the idea of a Starlink “Mini” that’s designed around portability would be a good idea.
Spaceflight photographer John Kraus proposed the concept of a Starlink ‘Mini,’ which suggested that a compact sub-1-foot dish, self-contained router, and rechargeable battery would be a feasible product. The suggestions of the photographer are valid, as portable internet access via satellite will most likely be a game-changer for those who are often mobile, such as travelers and photographers.
Due to the large size of its dish and the geographic constraints of the system, SpaceX’s new Starlink package is not designed for portability. Some Starlink users have, however, noted that they have been able to use the satellite internet system effectively in areas beyond their service address. For example, a Model 3 owner used Starlink successfully after driving into a national park. However, this perception is not shared by all of today’s satellite internet users.
Interestingly enough, SpaceX appears to be planning a portable Starlink device for its customers. Earlier this month, a Teslarati posted several photos of a carrying case that SpaceX includes with a Starlink pipe adapter purchase. The bag allows users to carry Dishy McFlatface safely, and it even has a strap, making it easier to transport. Such an accessory, which SpaceX already includes with pipe adapter purchases today, seems a bit strange if there are no plans to make Starlink mobile.
Starlink may only be in the initial stages of its beta, but the Internet satellite system is already proving to be a game-changer, especially among rural users. However, as indicated by filings which reference a Starlink phone service and dedicated battery backup systems, SpaceX’s plans for Starlink seem to be much more ambitious than satellite internet access.