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Elon Musk's next space project could change everything down here

Elon Musk's next space project could change everything down here
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Elon Musk's SpaceX is making big waves in the space travel business. Not only was it the first private company to make a delivery to the International Space Station, it's slated to carry astronauts in 2017 and it's getting very close to the dream of reusable rockets.

Now Musk is targeting another project that takes advantage of space: worldwide Internet. Yep, it's the same goal that fellow billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic is chasing, along with at various times Facebook, Bill Gates and a company called LightSquared. So, what makes Musk confident he can succeed?

Musk's plan is to launch 4,000 low-cost satellites into low Earth orbit. Most satellite Internet systems rely on a few large expensive satellites much farther away.

With 4,000 satellites, not only can Musk bring them closer, which means less lag in your Internet connection, he can provide coverage across the entire surface of the Earth. Imagine high speed Internet far out at sea, at the South Pole or in your back yard. That many satellites also means that the failure of just a few units won't cause any major outages.

Next page: Of course, this has been tried before
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