Having done a great job of leading the development of market-leading electric cars and inexpensive rockets, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is now shifting a bit of his focus towards satellites. Like Google, Musk has a goal of deploying a large number of relatively inexpensive satellites around the globe to help connect unwired countries. To do this, he's tapped the efforts of satellite expert and former Google executive Greg Wyler. Wyler's the founder of WorldVu Satellites, and based on the company's name alone, it's easy to see that Musk and Wyler's goals align.
Ultimately, the team have discussed launching a staggering 700 satellites, which each weighing less than 250lbs. Compared to other satellites which don't dip below 500lbs, that's impressive in itself. Also impressive though is the fact that these satellites will cost "under" $1 million each, rather than several millions per unit. Ultimately, it's expected that the project will cost nearly $1 billion to rollout.
It's unclear if Musk's SpaceX will be responsible for launching the satellites, but for obvious reasons, it does seem likely that would be the goal. From here-on-out, talks will continue to be had to flesh out all of the details, and one thing that might lead to is a factory spearheaded by Musk and Wyler to build these satellites. It's being said that talks have already been held with Florida and Colorado state officials to investigate the potential location of this factory.
To call Musk's project ambitious seems like an understatement. There will be many hurdles to be dealt with, including those both technological and legal. For those of us sitting back and waiting to see this all play out, we're going to have a bit of a wait: Official rollout and operation is not expect to occur until at least 2020.