In January, Elon Musk announced that SpaceX would be working on a satellite network devoted to global broadband internet. At a speaking engagement on Oct. 27, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said that the project remains “very speculative,” and that, for now, SpaceX will be focusing on its launch capabilities.
“We don’t have a lot of effort going into that right now,” Shotwell said in reference to the internet project at the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia convention, held in Hong Kong.
Partially, that’s because existing providers have such a hold on the commercial internet space.
“Certainly I think that from a technical perspective this could get done. But can we develop the technology and roll it out with a lower-cost methodology so that we can beat the prices of existing providers like Comcast and Time Warner and other people? It’s not clear that the business case will work,” Shotwell said.
It was rumored that Google was backing SpaceX’s internet project, after it was announced that Google and Fidelity Investments had together invested $1 billion in SpaceX. However, Shotwell has since said that the money from both investors went toward general corporate needs, not any specific venture.
Orbcomm machine-to-machine messaging satellites will be launched on the next Falcon 9 mission, which will also be the first use of the upgraded Falcon 9 since its failed cargo mission to the International Space Station on June 28. The 11 Orbcomm satellites will be launched in December, followed in the same month by telecommunications satellites from the Luxembourg-based company SES.
Another flight, using the earlier version of the Falcon rockets, is scheduled to take the joint United States-European Jason-3 ocean altimetry satellite into low Earth orbit as well, but a date has not yet been set for it.
(Via Space News)
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