SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – High-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has reportedly added global Internet access from satellites to his vision of a future alongside sporty electric cars and private space exploration.
The billionaire behind auto-maker Tesla and the SpaceX programme is working on the project with satellite-industry veteran Greg Wyler, who spent some time devoted to a similar mission at Google, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Musk and Wyler are trying to devise a feasible and relatively low-cost way to put about 700 satellites, each weighing less than 250 pounds, into orbit to provide wireless Internet anywhere on the planet, the Journal reported.
The satellites would be smaller, more affordable, and more widely deployed than those currently in use commercially, according to the Journal.
Ostensibly, Musk would tap into resources at SpaceX to get satellites into position.
SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean in October carrying a heavy load of NASA cargo and scientific samples from the International Space Station that experts hope could yield significant results.Dragon also carried crew supplies, hardware and computer resources.
The SpaceX vessel is the only spacecraft currently capable of returning from the ISS with cargo. Its last mission to the space station was in April.