Elon Musk needs more money for his moon ride.
Citing “excessive levels of inflation,” Starlink, the satellite broadband service owned by Musk’s rocket and space tech company SpaceX, is beaming up a set of price increases.
Keeping Pace With Inflation
The cost of the service, which had been $99 in the United States, was increased to $110. The terminal, which costs $499 in the U.S., increased to $549 for those who had already paid a deposit and $599 for new customers.
“The sole purpose of these adjustments is to keep pace with rising inflation,” the company said in a statement that appeared on Twitter.
SpaceX recently announced that it has 250,000 subscribers, including consumer, enterprise and businesses.
For Musk, the world’s richest man and CEO of Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report, the success of Starlink is vital to his plan to turn SpaceX into a company capable of transporting people to the moon and Mars.
The Starlink price hike was not greeted enthusiastically on social media.
“It’s beginning to look like the Tesla Solar Roof deal,” one person tweeted, referring to problems the company had with its discontinued Panoramic Sunroof.
“I was considering Starlink (while we already have affordable high speed internet), but this price increase makes the choice easier,” another person said.
‘Long Waiting List’
“If you already have affordable high speed internet, why would you want Starlink, which is pretty expensive middling speed internet (with very limited availability, and a long waiting list of quite desperate people with no other broadband options.),” one person commented.
Another person said that “I think the people saying it’s already too expensive, have certain biases.”
“Starlink is for rural customers in areas that don’t have access to broadband level internet,” the commenter tweeted. “When you compare other satellite services to Starlink it’s not even close Starlink is easily the best deal.”
SpaceX has also raised it prices for its SmallSat Rideshare program for smaller satellites.
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The program is now charging $1.1 million to place up to 200 kilograms into sun-synchronous orbits, with additional mass costing $5,500 per kilogram.
SpaceX has previously charged $1 million for up to 200 kilograms and $5,000 per kilogram for additional mass.
“Pricing adjusted in March 2022 to account for excessive levels of inflation,” the company said on its website.
SpaceX has also increased prices for dedicated Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches, SpaceNews reported.
A price sheet on the company website now lists a price of $67 million for a Falcon 9 and $97 million for a Falcon Heavy.
‘Better to Own Physical Things’
A version of that document from earlier this year listed prices of $62 million for the Falcon 9 and $90 million for the Falcon Heavy.
“Pricing adjustments made in March 2022 to account for excessive levels of inflation,” the company said on the price sheet. “Missions purchased in 2022 but flown beyond 2023 may be subject to additional adjustments due to inflation.”
Inflation has dominated the news lately.
The headline consumer price index for the month of February was estimated to have risen 7.9% from last year, up from the 7.5% pace in January and the fastest in four decades, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The expected pace of consumer price increases over the next 12 months has also jumped since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In addition, U.S. retail sales growth slowed sharply last month, and U.S. consumer confidence hit a 10-year low this month.
Musk, recently shared his thoughts about inflation on Twitter.
“As a general principle, for those looking for advice from this thread, it is generally better to own physical things like a home or stock in companies you think make good products, than dollars when inflation is high,” he said. “I still own & won’t sell my Bitcoin, Ethereum or Doge fwiw. (for what it’s worth)”