Eclectic joint smoker and entrepreneur, Elon Musk, has just been cleared by the US government to launch more than 7,500 satellites into orbit as part of his plan to create a fast long distance internet called Starlink.
The US Federal Communications Committee (FCC) approved the extra 7,518 satellites on Friday, which is on top of the staggering 4,400 already approved by the committee. The idea is to use SpaceX to create a mesh of low Earth orbit satellites capable of routing super-fast wireless internet across long distances. The method has been used before, but the scale on which Musk is aiming for with Starlink is, frankly, fucking insane.
University College London‘s Computer Science professor, Mark Handley, created a video simulation based on Musk’s submission to the FCC, which details laser communication between satellites as opposed to standard radio wave transmissions. It’s not a sure thing, but Professor Handley reckons this is what the network could look like. Check out the video below.
That’s a lot of fucking satellites to put into orbit, specifically when you consider how exact each orbit needs to be to avoid a collision. I mean, I don’t know a lot about putting shit into space, but that’s a pretty bold goal, to me.
According to Professor Handley, SpaceX is capable of sending 25 to 30 satellites into orbit on one BFR rocket, but that’s still a lot of launches, particularly when you consider maintaining a grid that large.
“It’s important to understand that they’re not just building this once,” Professor Hadley told News.com.au. “The satellites only have a lifespan of five to seven years, so they’re looking at needing to launch an average of two satellites per day, on an ongoing basis.”
Who would pay an assumed huge premium to access such a network? Probably bankers looking for an edge, Professor Hadley says. Being able to trade on the market at even milliseconds faster than a competitor is seen as an advantage in the industry.
Whether Musk can pull off this tremendous network is uncertain, but it’ll certainly make him a fuckload of cash if he does.
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