HOUSTON - Private rocket launch service SpaceX is requesting government approval to operate a massive satellite network that would provide high-speed, global internet coverage, according to newly filed documents with the US Federal Communications Commission.
The California-based company, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, has proposed an orbiting digital communications array that would eventually consist of 4,425 satellites, the documents filed on Tuesday show.
The project, which Musk previously said would cost at least $10 billion, was first announced in January 2015.
The latest documents, which include technical details of the proposed network, did not mention cost estimates or financing plans.
Financial backers of the company, whose full name is Space Exploration Technologies Corp, include Alphabet's Google Inc and Fidelity Investments, which together have contributed $1 billion to Musk's space launch firm.
The proposed SpaceX network would begin with the launch of about 800 satellites to expand internet access in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, the FCC filings showed.