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SpaceX announces ambitious use of satellites for communications

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to spend $15 billion to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit 750 miles above the Earth to create a worldwide communications network.

SpaceX announces ambitious use of satellites for communications

SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to spend $15 billion to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit 750 miles above the Earth to create a worldwide communications network.

Musk said the series of satellites would orbit far lower than most existing communications satellites and could speed up the transfer of data for many areas that do not currently have it.

"The speed of light is 40 per cent faster in the vacuum of space than it is for fiber. The long-term potential is to be the primary means of long-distance Internet traffic and to serve people in sparsely populated areas. Our focus is on creating a global communications system that would be larger than anything that has been talked about to date,” said Musk.

Musk announced the project at the recent opening of his Seattle offices for SpaceX, which is under contract to supply the International Space Station.

Musk said SpaceX will begin with 60 people working on the project and plans to expand to as many as 1,000 employees on the project in the next several years.

Musk said his proposed satellite communications system could form the basis for communications with Mars. Musk wants to eventually establish a human colony on Mars.

"It will be important for Mars to have a global communications network as well. I think this needs to be done, and I don't see anyone else doing it,” he said.

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