A whopping 4 billion people around the world are still offline. That means they have never sent an email, tweeted, Whatsapped or accessed Facebook. But Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla and SpaceX isn’t really concerned about bringing everyone online. That’s just a means to an end. He wants to Colonize Mars and to do that, I needs money — a lot of it — and it’s coming from his internet services.
Dubbed Starlink, Musk’s SpaceX wants to deploy a a satellite constellation of low-cost, high-performance satellites that will beam internet to every corner of the planet. In 2017, SpaceX had submitted regulatory filings to launch a total of nearly 12,000 satellites to orbit by the mid-2020.
Yesterday, SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying Spain’s larger Earth-imaging satellite, Paz along with two small satellites Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b or Tintin A & B which are meant to test internet delivery from Space to Earth.
First two Starlink demo satellites, called Tintin A & B, deployed and communicating to Earth stations pic.twitter.com/TfI53wHEtz
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018
Apparently the Sats will attempt to beam “Hello world” back to earth in 22 hours from launch and incase you catch the WiFi hotspot, the password is “martians” Musk tweeted.
Don’t tell anyone, but the wifi password is “martians”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018Advertisement - Continue reading below
Meanwhile Facebook which harbours similar ambitions as SpaceX was disappointed last year when it’s first $200 million internet satellite blew up at launch under SpaceX. Facebook’s internet satellite was due to beam connectivity across 14 countries African countries. The Duo have not announced plans of any launches since.
Related post: Google’s Project Loon to bring the Internet within reach of 100 million Indonesians starting in 2016
Facebook in 2016 made a successful test flight of a solar-powered aircraft called Aquila — a product coming out of Facebook Connectivity Lab — which it hopes to use to beam internet to underserved parts of the world. The social giant has not made any announcements since. Google has also made promises of using low-earth orbiting satellites in a project dubbed “Loon” to bring internet to the world. Another firm called One Web is working to launch over 4,000 low-earth orbit satellites in Space to beam internet back to earth. There are reports of over 12 other companies on an arms race to do the same.