Elon Musk revealed a couple of his plans last week, which include building a Hyperloop test track in Texas and building satellites that expand internet access all the way to Mars.
Elon Musk’s ambition is out of this world.
The Tesla CEO announced last week that he is planning to build a Hyperloop test track and that he wants to build internet-providing satellites in space that can reach Mars.
Musk made his Hyperloop announcement on Twitter Thursday. The new Hyperloop project would most likely be based in Texas, according to Musk’s tweet. The test track would help companies and student teams test out their transportation pods, which can potentially transfer groups of people around the country at speeds of 800 mph.Musk did not provide any more details on the Hyperloop test track, like how much it would cost and how long it would take to build.
Will be building a Hyperloop test track for companies and student teams to test out their pods. Most likely in Texas.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 15, 2015
On Friday, Musk made another big announcement at a SpaceX event in Seattle. The visionary inventor has unveiled his plan not only to launch a fleet of satellites to provide wireless internet that can be accessed anywhere on earth, but also to use the proceeds to build a city on Mars. Musk announced the scheme to launch a network of geosynchronous satellites, allowing high-speed internet access all over the globe.
Musk told Businessweek: “The long-term potential is to be the primary means of long-distance internet traffic and to serve people in sparsely populated areas.” It would not only provide internet for the millions of people without it in remote or impoverished areas of the world, but, in theory, also make current connection speeds quicker as light travels faster in space than it does in the fibre optic cables used now.
Musk then reportedly told the crowd: “One day I will visit Mars,” hinting at the other reasons for his earth-spanning idea – that the network of satellites would also provide internet and communications systems for a colony on Mars. Musk is “hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years”, he told CNBC last year. He added that, “the thing that matters long term is to have a self sustaining city on Mars, to make life multi planetary.”
The project will be based in the Seattle branch of SpaceX, where he announced the project, and will initially recruit 60 people although that will number will grow with time. “We want the best engineers that either live in Seattle or that want to move to the Seattle area and work on electronics, software, structures, and power systems,” Musk told Businessweek. According to the Seattle Times, the launch was attended by many people SpaceX recruiters consider to be potential hires, as well as several members of the United States congress.
Musk is not the only tech-tycoon to look for ways to bring internet to everyone on the planet: Google’s Project Loon attempts to provide internet in remote areas using a system of high-altitude weather balloons and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is reportedly looking into giant drones as a potential delivery method for the unconnected parts of the world. However, the higher-profile attempt of late is entrepreneur Greg Wyler’s OneWeb, backed by Richard Branson, which Musk has already pegged as a competitor.