As the mind and money behind cutting-edge companies like SpaceX and Tesla Motors, it’s no surprise billionaire Elon Musk is already trying to solve problems we don’t even have yet. His next pet project: bringing the Internet to Mars.
Musk has been working on a satellite Internet project to make cheaper, faster Internet available all over Earth — with aims to bring connectivity to rural areas with few high-speed options. The service will be carried by hundreds of low-orbit satellites in geosynchronous orbit, with speeds that could rival current fiber. That alone is enough to be a dramatically impactful project, helping dark areas gain high-speed access.
But that’s just the 1.0 phase. After that? Musk would like to see the service expand all the way to Mars, where he is already cooking up plans for an eventual SpaceX human colony on the planet. Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek he believes it “needs to be done” because of the need for a “global communications network” on Mars for eventual space explorers.
In a nice bit of cause and effect, Musk hopes to use the profits from the space Internet service to fund the eventual Mars colony, along with expansion of connectivity to reach the Red Planet. At that point, the Internet service project could cost $10 billion to complete.
But take solace that once we eventually get there, we’ll still be able to binge-watch Netflix millions of miles from home.
(Via Bloomberg Businessweek)