Here's Elon Musk's Plan to Deliver Internet Access to Billions
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Elon Musk -- CEO of Tesla and SpaceX – has been pretty busy disrupting the automotive and aerospace industries of late, but it looks like he's making time for a new project.
The serial entrepreneur wants to bring Internet access to billions across the globe by launching a network of 700 satellites weighing less than 250 pounds into space, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the outlet, Musk has already paired up with former Google executive Greg Wyler, and the two are in talks with officials from Florida and Colorado to build a factory that would develop these smaller, cheaper and lighter satellites.
The project, which is in the inception stage, will be difficult to execute and expensive, costing upwards of $1 billion industry officials told the Journal.
On the surface, this all appears laughably ambitious: The satellites Musk and Wyler want to develop and launch into space would be half the size and weight of the current smallest commercial communications satellite, while a network of 700 satellites would be 10 times the size of the current largest commercial fleet. In addition, as the Journal notes, "the venture would face large financial, technical and regulatory hurdles."
But if anyone can pull off it off, it's Musk. The venture neatly aligns with SpaceX, the private spaceflight company Musk founded in 2002, which would likely be tasked with launching the satellites into space. More importantly, Musk has proven uncannily adept at overcoming significant regulatory and financial barriers in markets with a high-cost of entry.
It's become something of a pattern for the billionaire entrepreneur: Hatch a crazily far-fetched vision (i.e. reengineering the electric car or private space travel) and then actually deliver on it.