Elon Musk has admitting he is banking on Starship, a launch rocket currently in development, to get SpaceX's next generation Starlink satellites into orbit.
"We need Starship to work and to fly frequently, or Starlink 2.0 will be stuck on the ground," the tech billionaire told YouTube show Everyday Astronaut.
He explained that sending Starlink 2.0 into orbit with the company's Falcon 9 rockets, which were used to send the first generation of Starlink satellites into space, is not plausible.
"Falcon has neither the volume nor the mass to orbit capability required for Starlink 2.0. Even if we shrunk the satellite down, the total up mass of Falcon is not nearly enough to do Starlink 2.0," Musk said.
According to Musk, the first Starlink 2.0 has already been produced, weighing about 1.25 tonnes and measures about seven metres long. He also believes Starlink 2.0 will supersede by an order of magnitude SpaceX's first generation of Starlink satellites.
"Just think of it like how many useful bits of data can each satellite do," Musk said.
On Tuesday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it will once again be delaying its self-imposed deadline for completing the required environmental assessment of Starship for another two weeks.
Originally, the FAA had penned to complete the assessment by the end of 2021, but the deadline has been repeatedly pushed back, most recently from the end of April to May 31.
In mid-May, SpaceX reported its Starlink satellite internet service had rolled out to 32 countries and that as of last week, Starlink is licenced in all seven continents, after receiving regulatory approval in Nigeria and Mozambique.