Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is allegedly working on a $1 billion project to launch 700 different satellites into space. These satellites are expected to be half the size of normal satellites and could be used for providing internet connectivity across the planet, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Project in initial phase
The consortium of the satellites is almost 10 times the current group of satellites deployed, and as of now, the method through which people will be able to access internet using satellites is not known. Also there is no word on the speed or technique that would be installed to cope with congestion issues in certain areas.
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Additionally, there is no information available on if the Tesla CEO will offer the service for free or if there is any charge. Citing sources familiar with the Tesla CEO’s project, the Journal says that the project is in its very early stages, which could mean that there are fair chances of the project not ever being implemented. Experts say that the plan involves a humongous cost, and also it can run into regulatory issues.
Musk has partnered with Greg Wyler, an ex-Google executive, who was working with the internet giant on a similar objective. Wyler, owner of the company WorldVu Satellites Ltd., owns the right to a chunk of radio spectrum that could be handy as far as satellite connectivity.
Tesla CEO planning to lower manufacturing cost
It is believed that Musk and Wyler are working on the raw manufacturing process for the satellite. There are huge possibilities that both could set up a factory. Both have discussed terms with officials in Florida and Colorado, which strengthens the possibility of the factory being set up in either of these states, however, the project is in the nascent phase, which opens the possibility of other states being in the race too. According to the sources, the Tesla CEO and Wyler are working to limit the production cost for these smaller, individual satellites to under $1 million each. At present, the cost is around several million dollars to make a communication satellite.
The manufacturing of a satellite is not a competition-free field, so the Tesla CEO, along with Wyler, will face competition from other companies such as Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corp. and Britain’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.