Facebook’s very own satellite? Yes that’s right Facebook Satellite. The social media giant was about to launch its very own Facebook internet.org satellite but unfortunately was destroyed even before its launch. Mark Zuckerberg had a vision but alas this will remain a dream, or will he be able to fulfill it? Only time will tell. But let’s put down the facts as to why Zuckerberg wanted to launch a satellite and how it got destroyed.
THE FREE BASICS (Internet.org) BY FACEBOOK
Internet.org. The free basics idea introduced by Mark Zuckerberg in 2013, a partnership between Facebook and six companies (Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera Software, Nokia and Qualcomm) that plans to bring affordable selected Internet services to less developed countries like India, Africa other parts of the world with low levels of connectivity. Though this idea has faced its backlashes, we shall later cover the pros and cons of the free basics in some other article. Continuing on the idea of free basics, Zuckerberg wanted to bring free internet across west, east and southern Africa via Facebook satellite to “connect millions of people”. The satellite was to be launched by SpaceX, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, owned by Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk.
I’m excited to announce our first project to deliver internet from space. As part of our Internet.org efforts to connect the world, we’re partnering with Eutelsat to launch a satellite into orbit that will connect millions of people. – Mark Zuckerberg October 5 2015
A SIGNIFICANT SETBACK
As apparent from the quote, Zuckerberg had everything ready. The idea, the plan, the funds. Unfortunately on September 1, the efforts to provide internet access in Africa suffered a significant setback when a SpaceX rocket carrying the face book’s first internet satellite blew up during launch preparations. The Facebook Satellite value was estimated to be from $95 million to $200 million.
Mark Zuckerberg, who had traveled to Africa to celebrate the launch on location, expressed his frustration about the accident on his Facebook profile.
As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.
ZUCKERBERG DOES NOT LOSE HEART
Indeed a disappointment. The idea to provide free internet across the continent to so many people, burned up with that satellite. Imagine how many lives would have changed with this initiative. Had it been successful, it would have spread across the entire globe. Alas not to be. But Zuckerberg does not lose heart
Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well. We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided.
Zuckerberg has pointed out that there are other technologies in place to offer internet access and that they don’t only rely alone on space tech.
SPACEX AND FALCON 9
The satellite was to be carried on the “Falcon 9” rocket of SpaceX. This is the second incident in 15 months where “Falcon 9” has failed to launch, and it could hurt SpaceX and its management team just as they were trying to strengthen the company’s position as the leading private launch provider, and could pose serious questions about the safety and dependability of SpaceX’s rockets to start launching manned capsules for NASA. Mr. Musk defends his position by saying that the incident occurred “during propellant fill operation,” and “originated around upper stage oxygen tank.” He added the cause was “still unknown.”
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NO (Facebook Satellite) PLANS IN NEAR FUTURE
Was the incident all natural? Or was there any conspiracy involved in this? Will the public even come to know the truth? Only time will tell. For now, Mark Zuckerberg has no other plans for another satellite launch in near future.