Are we seeing the convergence of a century of space science and science fiction before our eyes? Will Musk and SpaceX make 2001 Space Odyssey a reality? (Credit: NASA, Illustration, Judy Schmidt)

Elon Musk Wants to Bring the Internet to Mars

Article Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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Truly a man for all seasons, Elon Musk’s next big thing is to build an internet for when people start arriving on Mars.

“It will be important for Mars to have a global communications network as well,” he told Bloomberg Businessweek. “I think this needs to be done, and I don’t see anyone else doing it.”

Musk has said previously that he’s hopeful the first people on Mars can arrive in 10-12 years, and he’s going to bring them there with his rockets.

But his plan should also help bring higher speed internet to more places on Earth.

Musk’s idea is to place hundreds of satellites in orbit about 1,200 km (750 miles) above Earth, according to the article. Some satellites could be placed in lower orbit to help improve internet speeds and accessibility across Earth.

It would be an incremental process, and proceeds from the Earth internet could will help pay for the $10 billion investment in the colony and internet on Mars, Musk said.

“People should not expect this to be active sooner than five years,” he said. “But we see it as a long-term revenue source for SpaceX to be able to fund a city on Mars. … Our focus is on creating a global communications system that would be larger than anything that has been talked about to date.”

Because light travels much faster in the vacuum of space, internet connections will be improved over existing fiber optic cables. “The long-term potential is to be the primary means of long-distance Internet traffic and to serve people in sparsely populated areas,” said Musk, quoted by Businessweek.


Read the full article here.

Musk should get together with President Barack Obama, who wants to get higher speed internet across the US:

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9 Responses

  1. Denver says:

    Musk is also rent seeking among politicians.

    Call your Congresswoman and tell her, “NO” to crony capitalism

    • ioconnor says:

      I am all for saying no to crony capitalism. What’s that got to do with Musk? I don’t understand “rent seeking among politicians”?

  2. khms says:

    Wikipedia: In economics (see public choice theory), rent-seeking is spending wealth on political lobbying to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating wealth.

    Maybe I missed something, but I’m not aware of Musk ever doing that before.

  3. eigerzoom says:

    I like how Obama states “they will be able to track businesses” at 2:51, clearly the most important ‘Consequence’ as it is mentioned first.

  4. FarAwayLongAgo says:

    Everyone knows that there will be no human on Mars in 12 years. Why does he talk like that? He used to say that he wants to retire on Mars, and he’s got a good chans of doing that, in 30 years. He founded SpaceX 13 years ago, and it has only launched as many rockets, all to LEO. Then he needs the transfer space ship, the martian nuclear power plants and habitation buildings and lots of other heavy machinery for mining and greenhouses. Before any human goes there, he first has to spend a decade exploring and developing Mars with robots. And it will cost over $100 billion to build one small colony on Mars. Why does he use completely crazy lalala-land numbers? His basic vision is okay, but these numbers are mad. Everyone knows that this plan will fail miserably within 12 years and $10 bn, why does he play stupid?

    • ioconnor says:

      Well he is doing so much more than everybody else combined on the planet. Before he entered the picture companies like ULA were killing our space program. Musk’s time tables may be a bit overly optimistic, by a few magnitudes, but there is no doubt where he is headed. Eventually. SpaceX gives us all hope…

  5. hesterrepina says:

    Hi.

  6. Davies says:

    Elon Musk is the guy who will bring Earth to its destruction, he is about to make everything we have seen in sci-fi movies to become a reality……and it will happen. He speaks as if he knows exactly what is going to happen in the future…….or is he from the future?

  7. Aqua4U says:

    I like Elan’s plan.. Make money by using the rocket technology he’s enabled! Very clever. Watch how fast SpaceX moves forward when they finally make reusable boosters a reality! AND/or when they successfully launch the Falcon Heavy… with 3X reusable boosters! 4X if they can figure out a way to get the upper stage back!

    I wonder how many conversations Elan and Barak have had?

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