Main Engine Cut Off

Wyler’s Wafers

Caleb Henry for SpaceNews:

OneWeb founder Greg Wyler says a self-funded side project of his has developed an antenna module costing $15, paving the way for user terminals priced between $200 and $300.

Wyler, in an interview, said he invested just under $10 million into Wafer LLC, a Danvers, Massachusetts-based company that has created a prototype antenna. After three to four years of effort and more than 500 iterations, the antenna could be commercially available as soon as 2020, he said.

It’s hard to overstate how important this is for just about every satellite constellation you’ve heard about recently. That price range would be a massive drop from the current prices—typically starting around $30,000. Not a typo.

A $200–300 user terminal like this is the critical technology piece for OneWeb, SpaceX’s Starlink, and the like. Their business case would be near a complete collapse without it.

That said, Wyler is definitely not the only one who has been working on this. I would love to know what SpaceX has cooking internally right now.