Facebook hopes to launch its first satellite in 2016, as part of Mark Zuckerberg's latest initiative that aims to provide affordable internet access by using satellite technology.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

The social network is teaming up with Eutelsat, a French-based internet provider, as part of Facebook's Internet.org project, which is concerned with exploring different ways of providing internet to hard-to-reach places.

"Over the last year Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam internet access down into communities from the sky," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

"To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies."

Although several companies already use satellites to provide internet, it is generally too expensive for those living in the developing world. However, Facebook and Eutelsat hope to change this with their satellite service that is set to launch in the second half of 2016.

"As part of our collaboration with Eutelsat, a new satellite called AMOS-6 is going to provide internet coverage to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

"We're going to work with local partners across these regions to help communities begin accessing internet services provided through satellite.

"Connectivity changes lives and communities. We're going to keep working to connect the entire world - even if that means looking beyond our planet," wrote Mr Zuckerberg.

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