Another giant leap for humankind?
Tesla Inc. (TSLA) founder and CEO Elon Musk's SpaceX has received Federal Communications Commission approval to launch and operate more than 7,500 satellites, taking the company a step closer to providing worldwide internet coverage from space.
The FCC on Thursday, Nov. 15, approved SpaceX's application to launch a constellation of 7,518 satellites. The approval follows a separate nod from the FCC in March for a constellation of 4,425 satellites, which combined takes the company a step further to launching its full satellite internet service it calls Starlink.
Not one to shy away from seemingly difficult, futuristic concepts, Musk has made it one of several missions to provide high-speed seamless internet access globally - particularly to rural and less populated areas - without wires.
The spacecraft in the constellation are meant to do a synchronized dance above the Earth, allowing for every part of the Earth's surface to have a direct line of sight of at least one satellite at all times. The project is expected to cost $10 billion to develop, and SpaceX aims to have the constellation operational by the mid-2020s.
SpaceX so far has launched just two demonstration satellites.
The company's most recent round of fundraising, which took place in March, increased SpaceX's valuation to $27.5 billion, according to reports, making it one of the most valuable private companies in the world. Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) , the owner of Google, owns a 7.5% stake in SpaceX.
Shares of publicly traded Tesla, meanwhile, were down $2.64, or 0.76%, at $345.80 in premarket trading on Friday. Shares ended the day Thursday up $4.44, or 1.29%, at $348.44; over the past year the stock has traded as high as $387.46 and as low as $244.59.