Space Gets Serious

Google and SpaceX team up

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Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX raised $1 billion dollars in funding today.

Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX raised $1 billion dollars in funding today.

It’s latest donors include Google, and Fidelity Investments, who now own just under 10% of the company, the brainchild of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. Along with Google and Fidelity, other investors include Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn.

Musk, who is also the chief executive officer of Tesla, the American electric car marker, launched SpaceX in 2002, with the ultimate goal of colonizing Mars.

Several days ago, Musk announced his latest project, which is to build a satellite system that brings high-speed Internet to the whole planet.

The firm is now valued at $10 billion dollars, with most of the company belonging to Musk himself. The latest round of funding will be used to promote space transport and satellite manufacturing. Earlier this month, SpaceX launched their first attempt at a reusable rocket. It was nearly a success, it took off and returned, but crash-landed on a floating platform in the ocean. The idea is that when the reusable rocket is complete, it will be a cheaper and more efficient way to travel into space, at more regular intervals.

Several days ago, Musk announced his latest project, which is to build a satellite system that brings high-speed Internet to the whole planet. He plans to send hundreds of SpaceX satellites into orbit, at a much lower altitude of 750 miles, rather than the current normal communications satellites that are orbing 22,000 miles above our heads. Hopefully the increase to proximity will increase speed, and also give access to the 3 billion people currently on the planet without internet accessibility.

It’s no coincidence that Google has also just bought a satellite company, Skybox Imaging, this past June for $500 million.