SpaceX unveils new Starlink Mini antenna for internet users on the go

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 22 Starlink satellites to orbit from Florida on June 23, 2024.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 22 Starlink internet satellites to orbit from Florida on June 23, 2024. (Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX just announced a new version of its Starlink satellite internet antenna that's small enough to fit in a backpack. 

The Starlink Mini is a portable kit designed to provide access to the company's satellite internet service for users on the go. SpaceX is offering a "limited number" of the Starlink Mini antennas for $599 each in an early access release, which is $100 more than the standard Starlink kit, TechCrunch reported

Measuring about 12 inches by 10 inches by 1.5 inches (30 by 25 by 4 centimeters), the Starlink Mini is roughly the size of a laptop. Its total weight — around 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms) — is 60% that of the company's standard Starlink dish, which the company thinks will make it more appealing to travelers.  

In addition to the upfront hardware cost, service for a Starlink Mini is effectively $150 per month — the $120 per month residential cost, plus an additional $30 per month for the "Mini Roam" service. The equipment can be used anywhere in the United States.

Related: SpaceX launches Starlink missions in spaceflight doubleheader (video, photos) 

However, the add-on service has a cap of 50 gigabytes of data per month, with Starlink charging $1 per gigabyte for additional data. In the invitation to customers, SpaceX stated that the company aims to reduce the price of the kit, but, as of now, there is no option for a standalone Mini Roam plan. 

"Our goal is to reduce the price of Starlink for those around the world where connectivity has been unaffordable or completely unavailable," SpaceX said in the invitation, according to TechCrunch. "But in regions with high usage, where Starlink Mini places additional demand on the satellite network, we are offering a limited number of the Starlink Mini kits to start for $599." 

The first Starlink Minis are expected to arrive sometime in July. The compact design includes a built-in Wi-Fi router, meaning fewer components are needed to access the internet compared to the standard version. The Starlink Mini also consumes less power, has DC power input and is capable of download speeds over 100 Mbps.

"This product will change the world," Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and CEO, wrote in a June 16 post on X, stating that the kit took less than five minutes to set up.

The Starlink Mini kit comes with a kickstand, a pipe adapter, a power supply and a cord with a USB-C connector on one end and a barrel jack on the other. SpaceX's Starlink network has steadily expanded since the first satellites launched in 2019. There are now more than 6,000 operational Starlink satellites in orbit, connecting more than three million customers across 100 countries to the company's satellite internet service. 

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Samantha Mathewson
Contributing Writer

Samantha Mathewson joined as an intern in the summer of 2016. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Environmental Science at the University of New Haven, in Connecticut. Previously, her work has been published in Nature World News. When not writing or reading about science, Samantha enjoys traveling to new places and taking photos! You can follow her on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13.