13 November, 2014

SpaceX to help beam unfettered and very low cost internet from space with 700 micro-satellites

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has confirmed a plan to launch mini satellites to enable  internet connectivity in remote areas of the world. Rumors of this plan had been doing the rounds, culminating in an article in the Wall Street Journal.

As he confirmed the development, he said the Journal story was wrong on several counts and he will make a detailed announcement after three months.

Ex- Googler Greg Wyler will partner with Elon to develop these satellites, WSJ had said. Greg has been working with Google’s arm of satellite internet and resigned later believing Google can’t deliver on the grand vision due to lack of manufacturing experience, it added.

Elon’s confirmation on Twitter triggered questions on whether this service is going to “unfettered and free.” Musk promised to deliver unrestrained  connections, for a price, but at a low cost

The project is estimated to cost at least $1 billion to take off. According to the Journal, these satellites will weigh about 250 pounds and Elon and Greg will send about 700 mini-satellites to beam-down internet signal to earth at a speed of light. Wyler’s company WorldVu Satellites Ltd has a license to a lump of radio spectrum that comes handy to beam satellite connectivity.