SpaceX News: What Can You Do With 4,425 Satellites?
Another day, another round of SpaceX news. The latest is that Elon Musk wants to blanket the entire planet in thousands of satellites in order to provide a worldwide, well, web of one gigabit per second broadband Internet coverage. Simple, yeah?
“This is quite an ambitious effort,” CEO Elon Musk said at a SpaceX event in what can qualify as a bit of an understatement. “We’re really talking about something which is, in the long term, like rebuilding the Internet in space.” (Source: “SpaceX just asked permission to launch 4,425 satellites — more than orbit Earth today,” Business Insider, November 16, 2016.)
Besides sounding a bit like a plan Darth Vader might concoct, I don’t think many people would complain about super-fast Internet with global coverage.
The latest SpaceX news is mainly centered on the Federal Communications Commission, which received the proposal from SpaceX. The letter outlines the process through which these satellites would be jettisoned into space. Keep in mind that these 4,425 satellites in orbit would outnumber the amount of functional and defunct satellites currently circling the globe.
The project also received part of a $1.0-billion investment from Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), another company keen on seeing Internet beamed around the world.
And again, just in case this satellite saturation plan wasn’t ambitious enough for you, the one gigabit per second target would be leagues ahead of the current global average of 5.1 Mbps, according to Akamai‘s “State of the Internet” report.
With millions of people in the world still without Internet, this would be a huge advancement in the digital age.
Of course, SpaceX is by no means the only company looking to spread Internet across the globe. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is similarly looking to the sky, though a bit lower down, in its plan. The social media giant hopes drones can help achieve the Internet for all. (Source: “One of Facebook’s enormous internet-spreading drones crashed,” Business Insider, November 22, 2016.)
Either way, stay tuned as more SpaceX news is always just a day away.