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May 2017
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SpaceX wants to launch satellite internet in 2019 with initial test to be carried out by the end of this year, according to a hearing at the Senate in Washington.

Elon Musk’s company plans to release more than 4,000 satellites into orbit in instalments between 2019 and 2024.

  • Elon Musk's company SpaceX plans to release 4,000 satellites into orbit in instalments between 2019 and 2024 with initial test to be carried out by the end of this year (stock image)

The plans will increase the number of satellites in space by 300 per cent and will create worldwide internet that could offer speeds of up to one gigabit per second – which is around 100 times faster than current home broadband.

The network of satellites could provide ‘fiber-like’ speeds for a large area, according to Ms Cooper.

The first rocket to go up will be the Falcon 9 rocket, which was designed from the outset to deliver humans into space.

Ms Cooper also said the company would like to see more funding for projects that increase broadband speed

In November last year an application was filed by SpaceX with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to send this army of satellites into space.

The California-based company, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, has proposed an orbiting digital communications array that would eventually consist of 4,425 satellites, the documents show.

The project would bring high-speed internet to all corners of the globe, vastly undercutting existing services in coverage and cost.

The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users worldwide,’ SpaceX wrote in its application.

Last month Nasa announced it is releasing a powerful laser that could provide internet at a speed of one gigabit per second by 2019.

This could enable much higher data rates for connections between spacecraft and Earth, including downloading scientific data and allowing astronauts to send better video messages back home.

It would also pave the way for 3D video from space and enable high definition remote robotic exploration of other moons and planets.

SpaceX’s satellite project, which Musk previously said would cost at least $10 billion (£8.03 billion), was first announced in January 2015.

The documents, which include technical details of the proposed network, did not mention cost estimates or financing plans.

Financial backers of the company include Alphabet’s Google Inc and Fidelity Investments, which together have contributed $1 billion (£0.8bn) to Musk’s space launch firm.

‘Today, 4.2 billion people (or 57 per cent of the world’s population) are offline for a wide range of reasons’, according to a report by the UN Broadband Commission earlier this year.

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