Whenever SpaceX gets brought up, the first thing in mind would most likely be their being a proponent for the development of recyclable launch rockets. This was a dream they have achieved with their Falcon-series delivery system, the rockets of which have been stars on online videos depicting them touching down vertically, bottom-first, after successfully getting their capsules, usually filled with supplies and cargo, headed for the International Space Station (ISS). More recently they introduced their Falcon Heavy rocket, demonstrating its lifting power by sending a Tesla roadster space-borne. But they’ve gotten even more projects left to launch, like this.
As USA Today tells it, the revolutionary aerospace developer and private space transport service provider is seeing a condition on the verge of being cleared towards one of their other dream objectives: the launch of a network of satellites that would provide broadband internet connection all across the United States. This Wednesday, February 14, Chairman Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission sent a proposal to his fellow commissioners to push for giving the green light to SpaceX in order to get their planned satellite broadband network up and running. And the launches involved in this project are certainly notable.
If SpaceX, founded by visionary CEO Elon Musk, will be allowed to proceed, then in 2019 they will start launching mini-satellites into low Earth orbit. The number of broadband satellites is an astounding 4,420. As expected from that figure alone, SpaceX is going to be taking years in implementing their proposed broadband network, with full deployment estimated to be sometime in 2024. From their low-Earth orbit, the mini-satellites will be able to deliver broadband internet signals on almost every reachable corner of the US, with speeds matching conventional net service providers. All this was laid out in SpaceX’s company testimony to the US Senate about their project last May 2017.
The benefits of having internet service reaching remote areas due to not being affected by terrain have been calculated as invaluable. FCC Chairman Pai notes in a statement he made Wednesday, “Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach.” Initial projections by SpaceX have it that their satellite broadband can service 40 million subscribers, many of them in rural areas, with $30 billion in revenue by the time the service is fully implemented in 2025.
Said revenue from SpaceX’s proposed satellite broadband internet access will go to further R&D and funding for the first serious space missions to planet Mars and, ultimately, kick off the beginnings of a permanent human habitation on the Red planet.
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