May 4, 2017 - Science

SpaceX to launch first internet-providing satellite

Matt Hartman / AP

Elon Musk's SpaceX laid out a plan yesterday to create a network of internet-providing satellites around Earth, per the Verge. The company hopes to start launching satellites into space in 2019, and will continue to send them in phases until 2024, when the network is expected to reach capacity.

How they'll do it: SpaceX will use its own Falcon 9 rockets to drop the satellites into low-Earth orbit. The company will also build ground-control centers, gateway stations, and other Earth-based facilities to support the network.

Why this is a big feat: There are roughly 1,459 satellites currently orbiting Earth. The SpaceX network would be triple that (4,425 satellites), which could clutter the space around the planet.

How it'd help: A space-based internet network would mean companies don't need to install, rip up, and reinstall cabling in order to provide fast internet service.

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