The Race To Mars

Elon Musk's next great plan

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 This week, in his brand new Seattle office for SpaceX, he has announced a project that will build a satellite system that brings high-speed Internet to the whole planet.

January 2015 has been good to Elon Musk. The billionaire CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX announced his plans for a Hyperloop (an incredible 760-mph tubular suction transport system) last week. This week, in his brand new Seattle office for SpaceX, he has announced a project that will build a satellite system that brings high-speed Internet to the whole planet. Yes. The whole planet.

A completely private enterprise, SpaceX will endeavor to send hundreds of satellites into orbit around the Earth, but at a much lower altitude than normal communications satellites. The average circles comfortably at 22,000 miles above the Earth. Musk’s plans have them only 750 miles above our heads. The idea is that the increase of satellite will generate a higher rate of data flow, which will in turn deliver rapid high-speed Internet, especially to the 3 billion people who can’t access the World Wide Web because of faulty internet connection.

Musk, likened after superhero Tony Stark, has not yet confirmed how long the project will take to be completed, but he projects anywhere from 5 to 15 years to reach full capacity. It will likely cost between $10 billion and $15 billion dollars, and all revenues generated from the service, once up and running, will help fund Musk’s ultimate initiative: colonizing Mars.

In fact, he intends to use the same satellites to later connect to the human outpost on the red planet.

In fact, he intends to use the same satellites to later connect to the human outpost on the red planet, as well. “It will be important for Mars to have a global communications network as well,” Musk said. “I think this needs to be done, and I don’t see anyone else doing it.”

The colonization of Mars might seem like a far off dream to most of us. Musk himself admits that first SpaceX must make renewable rockets, to ensure cheaper and regularly scheduled rockets can propel SpaceX aircrafts into space. The world’s first reusable projectile is nearly complete - earlier this month, the rocket crash-landed on a floating platform in the ocean. Musk says they are nearly there.