Thousands of small satellites are planned to be put to use to provide high-speed internet to the world by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. And that plan is moving a bit closer to becoming a reality this week.
On Wednesday, a rocket is slated to be launched by the company from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. According to pubic filings of the company, the technology that SpaceX is planning to make use of for providing its internet service would be tested out through the launch of two experimental satellites which would be carried to space on the rocket.
The Federal Communications Commission of the U.S. is supporting SpaceX for launching of the test satellites. The FCC was urged to grant approval to the broader internet proposal by SpaceX by FCC chairman Ajit Pai last week which is seen as a confidence booster for the space exploration company
SpaceX’s plan is to “deliver broadband services directly to [people] anywhere in the United States or around the world” which would run at speeds that would be equal to the speed that is delivered by some of the internet connection that are based on the ground.
In recent times companies have been engaged in finding out way that they can beam down internet from the sky to the billions of people all across the world who yet do not possess access to high speed internet or even the basic internet.
Such companies include the likes of OneWeb, which is a startup and which has already managed to get the backing of the likes of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Coca-Cola and Qualcomm. The FCC has already granted approval to that startup to launch and use satellites into orbit for providing internet.
In the race to the internet-in-space, SpaceX would be the first American company to get approval if it manages to get one for its satellite project from the FCC, said FCC chairman Pai last week. He had been appointed to the post by Donald Trump.
There are high expectations within SpaceX from its satellite network according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the matter last year on the basis of some internal financial documents of SpaceX.
“SpaceX projected the satellite-internet business would have over 40 million subscribers and bring in more than $30 billion in revenue by 2025,” the Journal had reported.
There would however be other payloads on the rocket, apart from the satellites, that is to be launched by SpaceX on Wednesday.
A satellite named PAZ of the Spanish government would be the primary target for the mission.
The PAZ satellite will serve “many different applications” that would include defense and security, according to a statement from European firm Airbus, which was the primary contractor for PAZ.
(Adapted from Money.cnn.com)