Business magnate Elon Musk is well known for his quest to establish a human colony on Mars and make humanity a multiplanetary species. But his latest big idea is actually meant to benefit the planet on which he currently lives.
Musk, through his aerospace company SpaceX, is seeking government approval to launch a network of 4,425 satellites that would provide high speed internet coverage all around the globe—the project would triple the number of satellites currently in orbit, and would cost at least $10 billion (Mark Zuckerberg has tested a similar project involving a solar powered internet drone).
The first phase of the plan, as outlined in a United States government filing, would involve placing 800 satellites in order to expand internet access in the United States.
Some analysts have speculated that this project is just another tool for Musk to get to Mars—when Google and Fidelity invested $1 billion in SpaceX last year, Musk said he hoped there would soon be full internet connectivity on Mars one day (even though as of 2013, only 38 percent of the earth was online).
In the above video, however, Yahoo Finance reporter Myles Udland cautions that Musk should focus on his two public companies, electric car manufacturer Tesla and solar energy provider SolarCity (which are considering a merger) rather than side projects.
“High speed internet around the world would be good for the Elon Muskiverse,” Udland says. “But he has other more pressing concerns and investors to answer to in the private and public market.”
Musk is not completely ignoring his main business ventures, however—last week he announced that Tesla had acquired the German company Grohmann Engineering in order to ramp up production.