SpaceX is a coming that has been at the forefront of the news for several years now. They were the first company to successfully complete a commercial space flight, they’re currently contracted by NASA to develop their new Dragon V2 spacecrafts, and most recently, they’ve been rumoured to be planning a satellite array that would provide fast, cheap internet across the globe. Well, the ever charismatic Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, took to twitter today to confirm that the rumours are true!
SpaceX is believed to have partnered with Greg Wyler, founder of WorldVU Satellites and O3b Networks. In fact, rumour is that WorldVu has already started soliciting bids from contractors to build the array which will supposedly consists of 640 satellites each of which is projected to cost less than 1 million dollars. WorldVu will also reportedly be responsible for ironing out all the regulatory red tape required of this kind of venture.
The satellites are expected to weigh about 250 pounds each which is about half the size of an average satellite but will pack a lot of power. The satellites are anticipated to provide speeds up to 14 gigabits per second and are intended to be cheap, reliable, and totally uncensored. If this project is realized it would be the largest satellite constellation to date, ten times larger than the next biggest.
SpaceX isn’t the only company trying to get ahead of the game as Google and Facebook are also rumoured to be working on their own cheap internet alternatives. Google’s Project Loon aims to create a network consisting of high altitude balloons along with an array of 180 satelites. Meanwhile, Facebook is said to be planning a similar project which would feature solar powered drones roughly the size of Boeing 747s. With that said, there are no hard dates on any of the three projects so this is all speculation for the time being; but it’s an exciting time in the tech world!