Elon Musk backs 700-satellite plan

Billionaire Elon Musk, who made his fortune co-founding PayPal, and backs the Tesla electric car as well as the SpaceX rocket launch system, is now helping finance a plan to launch 700 small satellites into orbit.

The plan comes from Greg Wyler, one of the initial backers of the O3b (the ‘other 3 billion’) satellite constellation that’s now orbiting in Mid-Earth orbit.

Wyler was initially reported in June to have been working with Google on his ‘WorldVu’ scheme, which was quoted at the time as likely to cost $3 billion to build and launch. The constellation is planned to circle the Earth with relatively low-cost satellite which would provide a global broadband service.

The Wall Street Journal says that Musk is contemplating building a factory which would mass-produce the satellites, with WorldVu seeking a satellite-building partner to supply expertise for the concept. The WSJ says that Wyler left Google in part because of its lack of expertese

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