Elon Musk Plans to Connect Everyone with Space-Based Internet
If you ever hear an audacious, game-changing technology initiative, there is a high possibility it’s the brainchild of Elon Musk. After taking on spaceships and electric cars, Elon plans to create a vast network of satellites which will provide high-speed internet, that will benefit the rural folks untouched by the internet.
Elon spoke of his plans at a SpaceX conference in Seattle where the company is starting a new office. He said that he wants to establish his space internet system as a rival to fibre optics. Light waves travel 40% faster in the vacuum of space than through optical fibre cables. Musk will be opening a new office in Seattle and he plans to go on a hiring spree for space and aeronautics professionals to boost his efforts.
These internet beaming satellites will be placed in an orbit 750 miles (1207 km) above the Earth’s surface. The traditional communication satellites are placed in a geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of up to 22000 miles (35400 km). Elon says that by placing the satellites closer to the earth’s surface, the electromagnetic waves would have to travel a smaller distance and hence provide faster internet. He adds that with his technique, instead of sending data packets over long terrestrial networks like undersea cables, they can be bounced off various satellites. The data packets would be sent directly to satellites where they will bounce off multiple satellites before reaching the one closest to the destination.
There are many efforts, currently being undertaken to connect the last three billion who are still oblivious to the internet. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org and Google’s Project Loon are some of those initiatives. The Internet is making us globally connected and will help boost global cooperation.
As of now, this project sounds too audacious, even for Elon Musk. He says that this initiative will cost about $10 Billion, but once established, his company will use it as a revenue source to build a city on Mars. He also doesn’t have the rights to the spectrum to build the service as of yet. So it remains to be seen how he takes this plan forward.
Elon’s bold connectivity plans doesn’t end at connecting everyone on Earth. He wants to set up a communications infrastructure on Mars too. His company is actively working on prospects of establishing a Martian colony in the coming future. You have to give credit to Elon Musk; he wants to make sure that even though people would be living in a settlement on Mars, they would not be devoid of their favorite websites.