High-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk recently confirmed that he is now working on a space web of compact microsatellites that could provide wireless internet across the globe. According to a Twitter message the SpaceX CEO and Tesla automaker posted: SpaceX “is still in the early stages of developing advanced micro-satellites operating in large formations.”
While Musk also mentioned that an official announcement would not be made for months yet, a significant amount of speculation regarding the specifics of this new SpaceX microsatellite project appears to be directed at high-speed, satellite-based internet for areas where fiber networks are not in place. Much of this was based on the fact that Musk had also tweeted that “unfettered” internet access would be offered “at very low cost” to the masses.
Musk’s tweets did actually confirm portions of a Wall Street Journal report Friday that claimed SpaceX is collaborating with WorldVu Satellites, Ltd, a corporation founded by Greg Wyler, who also founded the high-speed internet satellite company named O3b Networks. Wyler left O3b for Google in order to help establish satellite-based internet. He has since also left Google.
According to sources at Daily Digest News WorldVu presently possesses the legal rights to “the right spectrum for satellite internet” until 2020. Therefore, analysts say, a collaboration between SpaceX and WorldVu for the purpose of positioning a network of internet satellites in orbit makes sense. They also believe that the microsatellites could also be used for Earth-based imaging and as space telescopes for identifying asteroids suitable for mining.
Some also speculate that instead of SpaceX manufacturing the satellites, WorldVu wants SpaceX to launch them. Since there is such a brief window of time in which to start using the spectrum to which it has the rights, WorldVu could choose to go with an experienced satellite manufacturer instead of waiting on SpaceX. The estimated price tag is currently estimated to be well over $1 billion.
Elon Musk Makes Microsatellites?