A solar-powered drone, a hot air balloon, and a space satellite walk into a bar…

A solar-powered drone, a hot air balloon, and a space satellite walk into a bar…

A solar-powered drone, a hot air balloon, and a space satellite walk into a bar…

This isn’t a joke being told in the Star Wars cantina bar, these are real efforts by Facebook, Google, and SpaceX/Starlink/The insane mind of Elon Musk to distribute high-speed internet across the globe without cables.
 
The first submarine communication cables were laid in the 1850s, enabling communication between continents for the first time ever. If you’ve ever seen someone receive a telegram in a movie it was because of this effort. Since then, we’ve laid cables across the sea bed to send digital data like the internet, private data traffic, and telephone calls around the world.   
 
The problem with having to lay all of these cables is….well, you have to lay cables everywhere. It is estimated that ~50% of the world has access to the internet, and this is a huge opportunity for companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon who rely on huge new user adoption numbers to fuel their growth. More internet connectivity means more users. There’s just one hitch, none of them have been able to solve the problem – Facebook tried dronesGoogle tried hot air balloons, and Amazon has been working on sending satellites into space
 
Enter Elon Musk, the only tech billionaire who has no conceivable business incentive to spend time on this problem. Much like affordable electric carsfast tunnel boring technologyreusable space rockets, and attractive solar panels, Elon Musk appears to have solved another completely unrelated and impossibly hard problem. This week Starlink, Musk’s effort to beam the internet down to the planet from space satellites, hit 500,000 orders and launched their 1,500th satellite into space. 
 
It is hard to imagine what life would be like without access to the internet and everything it brings, I mean what would you do without this newsletter every Friday? 

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