Sci/Tech Elon Musk's Plan to Build a Space Internet

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Because he doesn't have enough going on, Elon Musk—he of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, SolarCity, and the Hyperloop—is launching another project. Musk wants to build a second Internet in space and one day use it to connect people on Mars to the Web.

Musk is tonight hosting a SpaceX event in Seattle, where the company is opening a new office. The talk will mostly be about SpaceX’s plans for hiring aerospace and software engineers in the Pacific Northwest to boost the company’s rocket-building efforts. But he'll also use the talk to announce his newest idea, which would launch a vast network of communication satellites to orbit earth. The network would do two things: speed up the general flow of data on the Internet and deliver high-speed, low-cost Internet services to the three billion-plus people who still have poor access to the Web. “Our focus is on creating a global communications system that would be larger than anything that has been talked about to date,” Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek ahead of the announcement.

The Space Internet venture, to which Musk hasn’t yet given a name, would be hugely ambitious. Hundreds of satellites would orbit about 750 miles above earth, much closer than traditional communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit at altitudes of up to 22,000 miles. The lower satellites would make for a speedier Internet service, with less distance for electromagnetic signals to travel. The lag in current satellite systems makes applications such as Skype, online gaming, and other cloud-based services tough to use. Musk’s service would, in theory, rival fiber optic cables on land while also making the Internet available to remote and poor regions that don’t have access.

"Our focus is on creating a global communications system that would be larger than anything that has been talked about to date"

 
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Narks

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unrealistic and probably won't happen from both technological and political points
 

Varine

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The internet thing isn't unrealistic. Planetary colonization is though. Not technologically, just politically and religiounish shit.
 

Accname

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I dont think this is unrealistic from a technological point of view. We should easily be able to produce a bunch of satellites. I also dont see how any religion on earth would be against fast remote internet. All religions make heavy use of the internet, even radical muslims.

The only thing that I can see would be a problem is money and politics. I could imagine how certain countries would be against having thousands of satellites all around the world. It would be "too easy" to abuse these for other activities besides internet services.
 

Varine

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Religion is a problem with interplanetary settlement, not internet.
 

Narks

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The major problems are:
- Politics. Countries will want to strictly control internet access through censorship (China), amongst other nonsense.
- Technology. The issue is that you need transmitters on these satellites - which requires significant amounts of power - which is a problem when you're an object 750km in the air.
 
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Accname

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- Politics. Countries will want to strictly control internet access through censorship (China), amongst other nonsense.
Yeah. I said that.
- Technology. The issue is that you need transmitters on these satellites - which requires significant amounts of power - which is a problem when you're an object 750km in the air.
Thats not a technological problem. We have the technology for that.
Its a cost problem. The technology is just too expensive and people are not going to pay for that. Or, lets say, its unlikely that they are going to pay for that.
 

FireCat

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This isn't about mars, its about people.
Elon Musk wants to "build a city on Mars" He didn't ?
He also wants to deliver Internet service to "Earth and, eventually, to future cities on Mars" LOL
So, It's about Mars, People and Internet. "His big dreams"
 
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