More reports on: Telecom

SpaceX plans internet launch from space

18 November 2016

SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by tech entrepreneur and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, on Tuesday filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 4,425 satellites, that would provide global broadband internet access, Business Insider reported.

According to a database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, there were 1,419 active satellites currently orbiting earth and according to estimates,  roughly  2,600 satellites, no longer float in space. However even if these were to be factored in, SpaceX's planned fleet would be larger than everything already in space.

According to Business Insider, from SpaceX's FCC application, though, it seemed these would not be the typical telecommunications satellites.

Each satellite in SpaceX's planned constellation would weigh about 386 kg and be roughly the size of a Mini Cooper car. The satellites woud orbit at altitudes ranging from 715 miles to 790 miles.

According to SpaceX, from the vantage point, each satellite would cover an ellipse about 1,300 miles wide, the size of the state of Rhode Island.

"The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users worldwide," SpaceX wrote in its application.

In a statement, Space X said, "Once fully deployed, the SpaceX system will pass over virtually all parts of the Earth's surface and therefore, in principle, have the ability to provide ubiquitous global service."

According to BBC it was understood that SpaceX had some prototype satellites it would launch next year, but the actual constellation would not see the light of day until the turn of the decade.

SpaceX was not the only company looking to the market, established satellite  communcations majors includding Intelsat (OneWeb), SES (O3B), Telesat and Boeing were at various stages in their own development plans.

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