Will Astronauts Soon Have To Share Their Internet From Space?
Astronauts may have to share their rapid-fire interconnectivity. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX plans to bring high-speed Internet from space to the rest of the world. In his project to bring internet from space to all parts of the globe — even the most remote of them — Internet might be an equal opportunity feature.
Internet Would Be Equal Access
In order to steep this ambitious project in reality, a web of satellites would have to wrap around the world to provide Internet from space to areas all across the globe. If this works out, Internet would be more cost efficient and higher speed than the Internet we get from existing satellites today.
This is an unusual project for SpaceX as it is primarily a rocket company. But it could put SpaceX on the map as a huge high-speed Internet provider that gives equal access to Internet. Why is this worthwhile? Upon project success, SpaceX could be responsible for helping billions of people access Internet for the first time! The only entities that may not be too happy about this might be AT&T and Comcast as SpaceX’s success would put these companies in direct competition with one another.
How SpaceX Will Test This Project
U.S. government must permit federal approval in order to begin testing on this project. Once this is approved, what awaits is still quite a long journey. They submitted their proposal to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) late last month.
The proposal submitted to the the U.S. government requesting for approval describes the testing phase. There would be a web of about 4,000 smaller, cheaper satellite prototypes that would beam high-speed Internet from space to all regions of the world. The web of satellite prototypes would launch from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. It would orbit the Earth and connect to three ground stations located on the West Coast. The goal of the testing is to figure out if their technology is capable of beaming reliable, efficient Internet from space to the ground.
Space Internet Has A Future
If not Musk, it may have been someone else. Richard Brandon, Virgin Group’s founder had similar ambitions. The same goes for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates also wanted to bring Internet to all. It’s possible that Musk will take from any roadblocks these businessmen encountered, and become the one who is able to persist and find success. According to the Washington Post’s reports, Google and Fidelity have invested $1 billion into funding for SpaceX’s–part of the investment was specifically for this groundbreaking Internet project.
If all goes well, SpaceX would begin testing phase for their ambitious Internet project starting 2016. We could be seeing this service publicly available as soon as within the next five years. While this is a branch out from Musk’s usual ambitions of space travel and exploration, it’s not entirely unrelated. Musk describes his vision as “rebuilding the Internet in space.”