The Great Space Race: Part 2

There’s a new race to space, and it has an even cooler name: Space Internet.

What could be cooler than rockets, solar power, robots travelling at breakneck speeds around the earth, and youtube.com?

Two years ago the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN co) asked Space Systems Loral to build one them of these (actually, two):

Some assembly required

And ship it to South America, and put it on the top of this:

Aim away from ground

And now it looks something like this:

Placed in geostationary orbit, directly above the equator, just north of Australia, hanging out over about Papua New Guinea.

And my parents, who live in the middle of nowhere (actually the lower south coast of nowhere), who have up to now had extremely unreliable internet (some days they get internet for a few hours straight), in two weeks will have one of these plonked onto their roof (for free! Thanks Australia):

Not to be used as a BBQ

And will enjoy blisteringly fast internet (ok, blisteringly moderate speed) but more importantly, blisteringly always-on internet, because it uses the magic of microwaves and TCP/IP packets beamed down directly from space.

It sure sounds like we’re living in the future, when it’s easier to build a space robot, place it atop a rocket, harvest the sun’s energy, and beam internet to a specific point on earth, than it is to run a wire along a road.

My parents run their business (local accomodation) almost exclusively via the internet, so when the emails stop flowing, so does the income. Now with Space Internet, that little light on the modem stays green all day.

Thanks Space Internet!

P.S. This video basically describes the exact situation: