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SpaceX seeks to connect Starlink satellite internet to ships, aircraft, large trucks, and RVs


Earlier this month, SpaceX applied for a license with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for installing Starlink internet stations on moving vehicles. The earth station or receiver for Starlink satellite internet is a small dish antenna aka #DishyMcFlatface.

The description of the filing on the FCC website says the following:

SpaceX seeks a blanket license for the operation of earth stations in motion that will communicate with its non−geostationary orbit satellite system.

Source: FCC licensing website

In a letter to the FCC,  SpaceX director of satellite policy David Goldman wrote:

This application would serve the public interest by authorizing a new class of ground-based components for SpaceX’s satellite system that will expand the range of broadband capabilities available to moving vehicles throughout the United States and to moving vessels and aircraft worldwide.

Source: CNBC
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SpaceX director’s above statement did not specifically rule out Tesla vehicles but the CEO Elon Musk took it to Twitter and clarified that this is not intended for the Tesla fleet, the Terminal (#DishyMcFlatface) is too big to be installed on Tesla cars, he said.

Starlink satellite internet for moving vehicles includes aircraft, ships, large trucks (probably Tesla Semi too), and recreational vehicles (RVs). This implementation would certainly connect an untapped high-speed internet market segment, the opportunity Musk and his team is aiming for.


The current version of the Starlink dish receiver might be too big but Elon Musk praised the idea of a smaller portable version last month. This new portable version might also become popular with camping enthusiasts wanting to connect to the world from remote locations.

The following electric RV concept design is based on a Tesla Semi Truck, a vehicle this big and designed purposefully can easily take advantage of the high-speed low-latency Starlink satellite internet.

Electric RV concept design sketch based on a Tesla Semi Truck. Credits:

Tesla YouTuber Andy Slye is one of the early adopters of the Starlink satellite internet in its current beta form reviews its speed for us in the following video.

When the Starlink satellite constellation is fully deployed and the network is 100% up, the speeds are expected to hit even further.

Update: During the Live webcast of the Falcon 9 Starlink mission of 11th March, SpaceX Lead Manufacturing Engineer Jessie Anderson revealed that Starlink internet service will be coming to Germany and New Zealand this week as well as expanding the service area in the UK.

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii