SpaceX has sought official permission to go ahead with its ambitious worldwide internet connectivity program with a constellation of 4,000 satellites covering even the remotest region of the earth that may halt Google and Facebook in their threshold launching similar programs in the future.
In its request to the Federal Communications Commission, Elon Musk of SpaceX wants to transform the rocket launching company, whose space programs are likely to be delayed with $300 million budget cuts for NASA in a latest US Congress move, crippling the American space program for over two years.
Once transofrmed into an Internet service provider, SpaceX may be poised to compete with other US Internet providers like Verizon and Comcast in the US while in other countries too, it can get a foothold to be a real global player connecting people at a cheaper cost than envisioned by other players waiting in the wings.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk hinted at the possibility of the program in January 2015 but the move to seek permission from the FCC has made it evident that the space launcher is keen to use its resources for an ambitious program that can keep it busy for the next two years and unravel the potential of worldwide internet connectivity for anybody anywhere on the Earth.
SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon 9 rocket launcher into space and deploy the 4,000 satellites at different orbits to beam Internet signals across the globe virtually sidelining the smaller or national players in the space and if its plans are approved, by 2016 the tests would begin and in five years the program will be in shape to attain the goal, said the company.
Describing it as a “a real enabler for people in poorer regions of the world” as well as help improve the Internet in the US, where he said the monopoly of Time Warner or Comcast is still reigning.
Interestingly, Google and Facebook are toying with similar ideas while Bill gates and Richard Branson considered the plans and found them inoperable in the past. However, it remains to be seen whether the company would face cash crunch due to budget cuts recently by the US Congress to NASA with whom it had signed a $2.6 billion contract for manned missions to moon.