After having its plans more or less derailed last September, Google is anxious to get back into the Internet satellite race. To help expedite the process, the search giant is reportedly preparing to invest heavily in Elon Musk’s space transportation business SpaceX.
Google has reportedly agreed to value SpaceX at more than $10 billion according to several people familiar with the matter as reported by The Information. What’s more, the size of the total round of funding, which includes other big-name investors, is said to be very large.
Musk’s company is intent on launching hundreds of micro-satellites that would operate in low orbit around the world. SpaceX is already in the early stages of development and according to Musk, it’ll result in fast, cheap global Internet for the masses.
The ambitious project could also lay the foundation for a wireless network on Mars at some point in the future when humans venture to - and eventually colonize - the red planet.
Often considered a last resort when other methods of delivering broadband aren’t an option, satellite Internet is being pitched by several companies as a way to bring connectivity to parts of the world that lack modern infrastructure.
Google’s satellite Internet ambitions were deflected in September when a key employee, Greg Wyler, left the company. Upon his exit, Wyler also took the rights to the radio frequency used by the satellites with him. He’s since launched OneWeb, a satellite Internet company that’s now backed by Qualcomm and Virgin.
Without the necessary spectrum, Musk and SpaceX plan to use optical lasers to beam their service to devices on Earth.