Elon Musk is Using 700 Satellites to Create a Space Internet

One of my unspoken resolutions of 2015, of which I have many, is to spend lesstime dwelling on the past and instead focus on the present and the future. I thought I was doing pretty good, too, what with planning a monthly budget and writing to-do lists that span an entire week. Then I found that Elon Musk is already worried about getting Internet on Mars and now it’s time to rethink what “future” really means.

Musk first made the announcement on Friday in Seattle. SpaceX, the company Musk founded in 2002, plans to launch 700 interconnected micro-satellites into space all around the globe, all 750 miles up and skimming the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, in an effort to bring blazin’ fast Internet to the hardest-to-reach places of the globe – and, eventually, Mars. It’s not a revolutionary idea, withOneweb planning to do the same with just 648 satellites, but if anyone has what it takes to get it done – including lots and lots of money – it’s Elon Musk.

Of course, there are already satellites up there shooting Internet back down to us surface dwellers, but Musk’s satellities would be about 30 times closer to the surface, drastically reducing latency. Plus, the sheer number of Musk’s satellites will mean less connections hogging up each individual satellite, which means fasterspeeds. That, and the existing satellites communicate with things like satellite phones and modems, while the SpaceX satellities will be communicating with high-power antennas. The SpaceX satellites will communicate with each other via electromagnetic waves, which will be much quicker than a fiber optic cable. In a nutshell, the SpaceX network will provide much faster speeds with much smaller delays.

There’s so much confidence in Musk’s plan that even Google has invested in it, despite having something very similar in the works in the form of Project Loon. With Loon, Google intends to float balloons 12 miles up that connect to ground transmitters through a radio broadbank link. They hope to do the exact same thing Musk does: provide reliable Internet to the farthest corners of the world. The exact amount of Google’s investment into SpaceX is rumored to be between $1 billion and $10 billion.


via GIGAOM, TechCrunch

Share This With The World!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •