Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk is in preliminary talks on the viability of launching a fleet of 700 light-weight communications satellites that could provide Internet access, Wall Street Journal reports. Musk, founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (better known as SpaceX) and Tesla Motors Inc., is in talks with former Google Inc. executive Greg Wyler, who founded WorldVu Satellites Ltd., on a partnership to build the satellites, the paper reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
The satellites are to be about 250 pounds in weight and about $1 million apiece, while today’s smallest commercial satellites are twice the weight and cost several millions of dollars. At 700, the fleet would be 10 times larger than the largest current fleet of satellites, operated by Iridium Communications Inc., according to the report.
This is Wyler’s second effort to launch a large number of satellites, after some satellites launched in an earlier venture called O3b Networks developed technical snags that might reduce their usefulness, the paper reported.