Elon Musk announced his plan of creating a “Space Internet”. The billionaire technology entrepreneur is planning to provide hundreds of satellites which will enable the whole world to have access to Internet – cheaper and faster than what people are used to.
The Space Internet Project is said to be using the $15 billion fund in order to put up hundreds of satellites. The satellites will be strategically placed 750 miles above the planet Earth and will be situated far lower compared to existing communications satellites.
The height will ensure a faster speed transfer and a wider coverage for all three billion humans who do not currently have the access to Internet. The Internet speed will be as fast as those provided through fibre optic cables despite the distance it will travel from the satellites to Earth.
According to Elon Musk, the project’s long term goal is to provide long distance Internet traffic as well as to give access to those who do not have Internet. If completed, the system will be the largest in providing global communication, defeating any current technologies available.
The project was announced by Mr. Musk during the opening of its offices in Seattle.
The project was undertaken by a rocket company called SpaceX. SpaceX will be the one to provide for the International Space Station. In its initial phase, 60 people will be working on the project and the number could rise up to a thousand after a few years.
Mr. Musk feels the need of providing for Mars’ global communication network, if and when the human colony is established there. The first satellite is estimated to be finished after five years.
In the meantime, OneWeb is already invested in by Sir Richard Branson. The project aims to put up around 648 micro satellites that will give humans access to high-speed internet as well as telephone services – both from space. Sir Richard expects the project to be the largest satellite network in the globe.
LauncherOne, currently being built by Virgin Galactic, will be used to place the satellites into orbit.
Sir Richard is claiming there is no space for Mr. Musk’ project and that they should tie up if they want both of their plans to be completed.
Compared to decades ago, satellites can now be built at a much lesser cost, making the project a realistic one for the public.
Sir Richard and Mr. Musk are not the only competitors. Google is also in on the race for providing worldwide Internet by a project called Project Loon which will utilize hot air balloons. While the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is exploring other options such as satellites, giant drones and lasers.