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The New Space Race: One Man's Mission to Build a Galactic Internet

Google, Facebook, and Elon Musk want to wire the world. A guy in Florida may beat them to it
The New Space Race: One Man's Mission to Build a Galactic Internet
Sources: Agefoto (2); NASA (3); Science Source (2)

Greg Wyler is friendly and gregarious and talks about his business plans with a fervor that borders on the religious. He’s also frenetic and hard to pin down. So when the technology entrepreneur, who’s based in Sewall’s Point, Fla., suggested our interview take place in Puerto Rico, I accepted. He and his family had chartered a jet and planned to stop in San Juan on their way to St. Bart’s. While his wife and kids had lunch on the plane, we’d chat in the airport about the ambitious satellite company he’s starting. “Bring a cheese pizza and a sausage one,” he texted. “The kids will love you!” Ten minutes later: “And a Diet Coke.”

For weeks, people who knew Wyler kept telling me he’s an out-there, creative thinker who can come across as disorganized and impulsive. Roll with it, they’d say, because he’s a genius. So it wasn’t a total surprise when he texted again to cancel—they’d departed later than expected—and I found myself alone in a San Juan hotel with two pizzas and a Diet Coke. “So sorry, tried,” he wrote. “It’s been a busy morning …”