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Even as visionaries go, Elon Musk is one of a kind. He takes what seems like SciFi lunacy and turns it into business. At this point, if he declared he planned to offer Harry Potter-style teleportation through a smart phone app, we”d believe him. Or at least not laugh in his face.

Now the man who gave us the high-end, high-performance electric car and commercialized space travel has filed plans with the government to essentially rebuild the Internet in space.

The idea isn”t new. Bill Gates, Google, Facebook and others have explored it, and they all gave up. This just seems to egg Musk on. Likewise, Virgin”s Richard Branson, who”s pursuing a similar venture. Both have advantages over the others because their companies already have rockets. Google and Fidelity recently invested $1 billion in Musk”s SpaceX, in part to support the satellite project.

SpaceX is the first private company to deliver goods to the International Space Station. It will begin delivering people there in two years, and the Pentagon recently qualified it to launch national security satellites.

Musk”s Internet plan is to launch about 4,000 small, cheap (by space standards) satellites into low orbit and test if they can bounce signals around the globe, including areas the Internet now can”t reach.

If he succeeds, SpaceX or, more likely, its Internet spin-off, could compete with the likes of Comcast, AT&T, DirecTV and Dish. Wouldn”t that be nice.

Then SpaceX could focus on its overarching goal of colonizing Mars. (See, you”re not laughing, are you?) Musk believes that to survive, the human species has to occupy other planets.

We”re not incorporating Red Planet Real Estate just yet. But we”re not signing any new long-term contracts for Internet service either, until we see how that mini-satellite flotilla tests out.

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