SpaceX To Partner With Facebook And Verizon?By Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
There are rumors that SpaceX will be collaborating with industry giants Facebook and Verizon for its Mars mission. There is a possibility but it has not been confirmed yet.
Recently, SpaceX has won the NASA launch contract for the first-ever survey of the Earth's surface water. Elon Musk's space company will provide the launch services needed for its Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. It is scheduled for Apr. 2021.
The launch will use SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. It will be launched from the Space Launch Complex 4E at the Vanderberg Air Force Base in California.
It was revealed that the total cost for NASA's SWOT mission is about $112 million. This includes launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration as well as tracking, data and telemetry support.
Meanwhile, GameNGuide reported that Elon Musk is connecting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding the Mars mission. Moreover, telecommunications giant Verizon may also join in the fun.
The publication did acknowledge that the alleged collaboration is still a rumor. It does make sense, though, but the partnership may not be initially for the anticipated Mars mission.
Earlier this month, SpaceX has filed an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the launch of 4,425 satellites. The company's FCC application revealed that the system is designed to "provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users worldwide."
If the application gets approved, it would greatly benefit Facebook and Verizon if the speculated partnership would push through.
"With deployment of the first 800 satellites, SpaceX will be able to provide widespread U.S. and international coverage for broadband services," the application further stated. "Once fully optimized through the Final Deployment, the system will be able to provide high bandwidth (up to 1 Gbps per user), low latency broadband services for consumers and businesses in the U.S. and globally."
It was noted that the satellites will also be about as big as a MINI Cooper car. They will be orbiting the Earth at altitudes ranging from 715 miles, about 1,150 kilometers, to 790 miles, about 1,275 kilometers.