Entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Jae C. Hong / AP / SIPA
Will SpaceX move to Indonesia?
In any case, this is what the country hopes for, which invited Elon Musk to build a launching base for its rockets in the archipelago of Southeast Asia.
"Indonesia has several areas located near the equator," said Jodi Mahardi, spokesperson for the coordinating ministry of maritime affairs and investments.
“The cost of launching SpaceX would be lower because its satellites would not need to maneuver to adjust their orbit to the equator,” he added.
SpaceX but also Tesla?
Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially invited Elon Musk, the world's second wealthiest, to reflect on a space project in his country during a telephone conversation on Friday.
The Indonesian space agency announced last year a project to build a space site on the island of Biak, off the coast of Papua, and has had discussions with foreign partners.
Elon Musk and Joko Widodo also discussed investment opportunities in Indonesia from the US billionaire's other company, electric vehicle maker Tesla.
The company is indeed interested in Indonesia's vast reserves of nickel, a metal essential for the electric batteries of its vehicles.
"Tesla CEO Elon Musk has responded to Indonesian President Joko Widodo's invitation by planning to send one of his teams in January 2021 to explore all opportunities for this cooperation," the ministry said.
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