SpaceX Gets Approval to Launch 12,000 Broadband Satellites

SpaceX Gets Approval to Launch 12,000 Broadband Satellites

SpaceX Gets Approval to Launch 12,000 Broadband Satellites

"Many corners of our country that don't have broadband today, or don't have many broadband choices, could soon see new, high-speed services thanks to these low-earth orbit satellites", concluded Carr. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said SpaceX planned to launch a satellite-internet business to help fund his ambitious goal of building a city on Mars.

On Thursday, the aerospace company won approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 7,000 new internet satellites into low-Earth orbit, markedly increasing the number of satellites now deployed.

Last month, reports said Musk fired some of the senior managers on the satellite constellation project, known as Starlink, at SpaceX's office in Redmond, Wash., because of disagreements over the speed of developing and testing the satellites. In March, the company gained approval to launch 4,000 internet-beaming satellites. SpaceX was also granted a request to add 37.5-42.0 GHz, and 47.2-50.2 GHz support to its previously authorized NGSO constellation.

Starlink is aiming to provide internet access anywhere on the globe via an array of low earth orbit satellites deployed at altitudes ranging from 715 to 823 miles.

Telesat has one of two prototypes in orbit after an Indian PSLV launch in January (the first was destroyed in a November 2017 Soyuz rocket failure), and received FCC approval for a 117-satellite Ka-band constellation previous year.

While the constellations approved are only proposed, three of the four companies whose plans advanced November 15 already have demonstration satellites in orbit.

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted November 15 to approve four proposed satellite constellations, authorizing almost 8,000 small telecom satellites to serve U.S. entities from low Earth orbit. The remaining satellites should be in orbit within nine years. Those satellites would use frequencies in what is known as the V-band to transmit data back to Earth.

"SpaceX can resubmit this request in the future, when it will have more information about the progress of the construction and launching of its satellites and will therefore be in a better position to assess the need and justification for a waiver", the FCC wrote.

None of the satellites has launched yet.

The race by so many companies to build new satellite constellations has many policymakers concerned about proliferating space objects.

The FCC on Thursday sought to weigh in on the issue itself by unveiling a proposal - its first such effort in a decade - that could introduce more rules to the satellite industry created to limit orbital debris. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explained in his statement that the applications and their constellations offer the promise of introducing "variety in the burgeoning field of non-geostationary satellite services and innovative solutions to bridging the digital divide". "Accordingly, we condition grant of the application on SpaceX presenting and the Commission granting a modification of this space station grant to include a final orbital debris mitigation plan".

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