Elon Musk's Starlink project 'a good opportunity for Taiwanese businesses'

The ambitious program seeks to provide satellite broadband to the world

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Elon Musk presenting at a SpaceX conference

Elon Musk presenting at a SpaceX conference (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese technology businesses ought to be clambering to be a part of Elon Musk’s ambitious new Starlink program, Business Next claims.

Musk’s aerospace manufacturing company SpaceX is currently recruiting global businesses to be a part of the supply chain for the Starlink low-Earth orbit satellite project. The venture provides Taiwanese tech firms with the perfect opportunity to flex their muscles in the international arena as part of a potentially groundbreaking project.

Starlink is the planned launch of satellites around the globe into a constellation that will provide everyone, everywhere with internet access. SpaceX needs to send 4,425 satellites into orbit to bring the idea to fruition, which will require a heavy amount of fuel, rockets and investment.

Two broadband satellites were successfully launched last year to pilot the program.

Business Next quotes industry insiders suggesting there is likely, at minimum, NT$5.97 trillion of investment opportunities due to the sheer amount of satellites and ground stations that need to be manufactured.

Taiwan particularly excels in the production of satellites and other related products like solar cells, the news outlet writes. The fact that Taiwan’s satellites cost, on average, one-third to one-tenth of the price of foreign-produced equivalents gives the country a significant advantage in the field.

The government’s own budget for space programs is small, Business Next says, so Taiwanese businesses should begin looking further entrench themselves in the international market. Since the U.S. Taiwan Travel Act has come into effect, restrictions on the distribution of key products in space exploration, such as the ring laser gyroscope, could be loosened, which Taiwan ought to take advantage of.

The Taiwan government’s meteorological satellite Formosat-7 is set to be launched soon in the U.S.