Elon Musk looks to launch 700 satellites to provide global internet access

Elon Musk is apparently set to bring about a plan to launch a bunch of satellites into space with the intention of delivering internet access around the world.

The entrepreneur who is now more famous for his electric cars via the firm he co-founded, Tesla Motors, is no stranger to space shenanigans given that he also founded SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) back in 2002 to explore and perfect rockets and space transport in general.

According to sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, Musk has been talking to telecoms entrepreneur Greg Wyler, who founded WorldVu Satellites, which owns chunks of 12-18GHz spectrum, the rights to which Wyler took with him when he left Google to form his own outfit.

That spectrum could be used by a large array of satellites to deploy net access, and apparently Musk and Wyler are proposing to launch something like 700 satellites, a constellation some 10 times the size of the largest existing fleet.

The satellites would be cheaper models, and would weigh in at around 100kg, considerably smaller than any existing satellite in commercial use (in fact half the size).

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The cost of the project is thought to be around the billion dollar mark, but at this point this is of course a lot of hearsay. It's not clear if this is a philanthropic venture designed to bring net connectivity to more remote parts of the globe, or whether it will be a more profit-driven enterprise.

One thing is clear, though: Wyler couldn't get Google to bank on his plan, which is why he departed, and that gives you an idea of the scale of the challenge.

Google does, of course, have its own plan to tackle the lack of net access in remote areas with Project Loon.

Musk also recently unveiled the Tesla Model D all-weather electric car.

Read more: Google continues satellite spending spree with $500m purchase