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This article was published on January 17, 2015

Elon Musk is going to build an internet for space

Elon Musk is going to build an internet for space
Owen Williams
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Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

Last night at a SpaceX event in Seattle, Elon Musk revealed that he plans to spend $10 billion building out the internet in space.

Bloomberg reports that Musk imagines it would change the way the internet on Earth fundamentally operates; instead of data packets bouncing around routers and networks on the surface, they could go to space and bounce between satellites until they reach their destination.

Musk hasn’t named the project yet, but said that it will be based in SpaceX’s new Seattle office. He also sees it as the basis for reaching internet to Mars, saying that “It will be important for Mars to have a global communications network as well.”

SpaceX will build its own satellites to get the network up and running, which will fly in a slightly lower orbit to reduce communications lag.

It’s going to be a long, slow road to building it, but Musk says the company sees it as a long-term revenue source for SpaceX to fund building a city on Mars.

➤ Revealed: Elon Musk’s Plan to Build a Space Internet