Elon Musk outlines universal internet access with Earth orbiting web satellites - with planned Mars expansion

Elon Musk, head of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has outlined his goals to establish an outer-space web infrastructure so those on - and beyond - Earth can access the internet.

Elon Musk: SpaceX and Tesla Motors head

The tycoon said he will launch hundreds of internet satellites 750 miles above the Earth in a $15bn scheme he claims would provide universal net access. The initiative, which could be active in around five years will replace fibre-based web services on terra firma, instead bouncing signals off satellites.

Mr Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek: "The speed of light is 40 per cent faster in the vacuum of space than it is for fibre. The long-term potential is to be the primary means of long-distance Internet traffic and to serve people in sparsely populated areas."

He added that if mankind is to colonise Mars there must be a communications network in place between the red giant and Earth: “It will be important for Mars to have a global communications network as well. I think this needs to be done, and I don't see anyone else doing it.

“We see it as a long-term revenue source for SpaceX to be able to fund a city on Mars.”

This comes after Musk last week signed a pledge to moderate the development of AI technology for 'maximum societal benefit' last week.

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