Musk plans to create internet in space
19 January 2015
Elon Musk, the man on a mission to drive futuristic technologies, is looking to create an internet in space, CNET reported. The Tesla Motors and SpaceX chief said on Friday night that he planned to use a fleet of satellites to make the internet speedier and to bring it to those without access, according to media reports of a private event in Seattle.
The details of the plan were shared ahead of the event with Bloomberg.
While this new network would initially benefit only those of us on earth, Musk said he had much loftier plans: using the profits to build a Martian city.
Musk told Bloomberg that the company saw it as a long-term revenue source for SpaceX to be able to fund a city on Mars. Without offering specifics on how he would make money off the project, but he mentioned the possibility of selling satellites after the network was completed.
The creation of the network would involve the building and launch of around 4,000 satellites orbiting about 750 miles above earth, GeekWire reported.
The network would be under development for at least five years and would cost around $10 billion, he told Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, satellite industry notable Greg Wyler announced that his company OneWeb, which wanted to build a micro-satellite network to bring internet to all corners of the globe, secured investments from Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Qualcomm arstechnica.com reported.
OneWeb, formerly WorldVu Satellites Ltd, aimed to target rural markets, emerging markets, and in-flight internet services on airlines, according to the Wall Street Journal. Both Branson and Qualcomm executive chairman Paul Jacobs would sit in the company's board. However, Wyler was silent on how much Virgin and Qualcomm would invest in his company.
Wyler said the company aimed to create a network of 648 small satellites that would weigh in at around 285 pounds each. The satellites would be put into 750 miles above the earth and ideally cost about $350,000 each to build using an assembly line approach. According to Wyler, Virgin which had its own space segment, would be launching the satellites into orbit.