SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by the Mars-hungry tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, just made a big move to enshroud the planet in high-speed internet coverage.
On November 15, the company filed a lengthy application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 4,425 satellites. (We first heard about the filing through the r/SpaceX community on Reddit.) That is a hell of a lot of satellites.
According to a database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, there are 1,419 active satellites currently orbiting Earth.
There are estimates of roughly 2,600 satellites that no longer work floating in space, but even factoring those in, SpaceX's planned fleet would be larger than everything already in space.
Some of the biggest telecommunications satellites can weigh several tons, be the size of a bus, and orbit from a fixed point about 35,000 km above Earth.
After we took a look at SpaceX's FCC application, though, it seems these won't be your typical telecommunications satellites.