Elon Musk’s SpaceX has applied to the FCC for a trial of two satellites that will beam down broadband to Earth
SpaceX, the private space firm headed up by Tesla entrepreneur Elon Musk, has filed an application with the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to launch a network of satellites that would beam Internet access down to Earth.
The application was spotted by Reddit user shrubit, and shows SpaceX’s plans to connect areas of the planet to the Internet that currently have limited connection.
6-12 month trial
The application outlines two satellites initially, expanding to eight trial satellites that will be in orbit for six to 12 months.
The application was filed by SpaceX’s senior counsel, David J. Den Herder, and shows that SpaceX plans to launch two micro satellites, MicroSat-1a & 1b, to test the platform.
The satellites will beam broadband from an orbit of 625km in the ‘ku-band’ range of the spectrum, with ground stations located at the SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California, Tesla Motors Headquarters in Fremont, California, and SpaceX’s Washington offices in Redmond, Washington.
SpaceX raised $1 billion (£659m) in funding from Google and Fidelity Investments in January of this year. The deal pushed SpaceX’s value up to $10 billion, as Google tries to get in on the idea for satellite-enabled Internet access.