Elon Musk is building a wifi hotspot that will cover the entire planet

Internet access is a quintessential part of modern existence. Millennials will search far and wide for a suitable connection (to browse the web, send an iMessage, or post on Instagram).

But unfortunately there are still huge swaths of the world without online capabilities.

So in an equal opportunities initiative Elon Musk plans to enshroud the entire planet with high-speed internet coverage – using satellites to build to largest WiFi hotspot known to humankind.

Astronaut Greg Chamitoff performing routine maintenance on the International Space Station (Photograph: NASA)

In a recent application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tech entrepreneur and SpaceX founder asked for permission to launch over 4,400 satellites into our atmosphere.

Each satellite in this proposed constellation is around the size of a MINI Cooper and is said to orbit between 1,150 km to 1,275 km above Earth.

At these heights one space station could cover an ellipse around 2,120 km wide, Science Alert reports.

“The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users worldwide,” SpaceX writes.

“With deployment of the first 800 satellites, the system will be able to provide US and international broadband connectivity.”

“When fully deployed, the system will add capacity and availability at the equator and poles for truly global coverage.”

Elon Musk with one of his SpaceX capsules (Photograph: SpaceX)

It will provide broadband speeds of up to 1 Gbps, around 200 times faster than the global average of 5.1 Mbps (and even faster than fiberoptic connections).

The Californian aerospace manufacturer aim to sent an initial 1,600 satellites at one orbital altitude before sending up a further 2,825 at four separate altitudes.

There are an estimated 1,419 active satellites orbiting Earth, and 2,600 satellites that no longer work still floating about in space right now.

This means the SpaceX endeavour will be the largest satellite constellation our planet has ever known.

And perhaps this is also a way for a Mars-obsessed Musk to setup the groundworks for internet on the Red Planet.

Looking up at the Milkyway (Photograph: Siyamalan via Flickr CC)

Source: Konbini


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