SpaceX, one of Elon Musk’s ventures, has planned to launch satellites that will provide high-speed internet to Earth by 2019.
On Wednesday, the vice-president of the company’s satellite government affairs, Patricia Cooper informed that later this year, SpaceX will itself test the satellite along with launching a prototype by the year end and another one in the early months of 2018. Apart from that, the company will initiate the satellite launch campaign by the year 2019.
While speaking at the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology, the vice-president told, “The remaining satellites in the constellation will be launched in phases through 2024.”
The company sent one of their reused Falcon 9 rockets to space in March in order to send a communications satellite into orbit. The technology will also be cost-effective, according to CNBC.
Cooper informed, “SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle.”
The plan would include 4,425 satellites that will orbit in 83 planes at comparatively low altitudes ranging from 1,110km to 1,325km.
The company raised a point that the U.S. is behind other developed countries regarding the broadband speed and price competitiveness, at the same time, a lot of rural areas are deprived of traditional internet providers. SpaceX argued that their satellites will supply a “mesh network” in space which can convey high broadband speeds with no use of cables. “In the future, these satellites would provide additional broadband capacity to the SpaceX system and further reduce latency where populations are heavily concentrated.”
The official also informed that some kind of infrastructure will also be needed on Earth that will enable the company to “allocate broadband resources in real time, placing capacity where it is most needed and directing energy away from areas where it might cause interference to other systems, either in space or on the ground”.
As The Verge reports, Cooper concluded, “In other words, the common challenges associated with siting, digging trenches, laying fiber, and dealing with property rights are materially alleviated through a space-based broadband network.”