from cnet.com

The SpaceX CEO wants to build a satellite network above Earth that would speed up the Internet and bring access to underserved communities. And he’ll use the profits to help colonize Mars.

 

Elon Musk, the who’s determined to move our civilization to Mars, will also tackle creating an Internet in space.

The CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX said Friday that he will use a fleet of satellites to make the Internet speedier and to bring it to those without access, according to media reports of a private event in Seattle. of the plan were shared before the event with Bloomberg.

While this new network would initially benefit only those of us on Earth, Musk said he has much loftier plans: using the profits to build a Martian city.

“We see it as a long-term revenue source for SpaceX to be able to fund a city on Mars,” Musk told Bloomberg. He didn’t offer specifics on how he’ll make money off the project, but he did mention the possibility of selling satellites after the network is . SpaceX did not return a request for comment.

To the new network, SpaceX will build and launch roughly 4,000 satellites orbiting about 750 miles above earth, GeekWire reported.

Musk is known for his determination to colonize Earth’s relatively nearby neighbor, with plans to put humans on Mars by the mid 2020s. A member of the so-called “PayPal Mafia” — co-founders of the payment service who have found continued success after selling the company to eBay — Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 to “to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets,” according to the SpaceX website. It won a $2.6 billion contract from NASA last year, becoming one of the first private companies — the other is Boeing — set to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, beginning as early as 2017.

SpaceX unveiled its first , the Dragon V2, in May. The craft is intended for trips to and from the space station, and the company successfully sent a cargo capsule to the ISS this month, but the “reusable” rocket crashed into its floating landing pad in the .

And now it looks like Musk sees his space Internet project as another way of getting him to Mars. The network would take at least five years to develop and cost around $10 billion, he told Bloomberg. Instead of sending data through a network that uses fiber optic cables, the proposed system would bounce signals from satellite to satellite. Musk said the setup would also underserved communities that ’t have Net access. The project will be overseen at SpaceX’s new Seattle headquarters.