SpaceX received approval Friday from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its ambitious constellation of thousands of broadband satellites. The FCC also gave permission to Kepler Communications Inc., Telesat Canada Inc. and LeoSat Enterprises Inc.to launch 140, 117 and 78 satellites, respectively.
One of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of SpaceX launching 7,518 satellites into orbit has just been overcome, according to The Verge. The plan is to launch and operate a constellation of 7,518 satellites into the low-earth orbit.
Proponents say next-generation satellite Internet technology could help developing countries and rural areas connect to economic opportunities now out of reach for them because they lack competitive Internet access.
Telesat was similarly granted conditional USA market access in the 37.5-42.0 GHz and 47.2- 50.2 GHz frequency bands, with the FCC nod enabling the Ottawa headquartered company to offer high-speed, low-latency communication services across the United States using its proposed constellation of 117 NGSO satellites. (LeoSat)-to launch satellites. The new satellites will join the existing satellites in forming the Starlink network.
Something to look forward to: SpaceX's Project Starlink could provide reliable Internet access to parts of the globe that have been cut off from the outside world due to a lack of competitive access (or access at all). Unlike SpaceX, these three satellite systems would get their primary approvals from foreign governments, but they still need FCC approval for access to the USA market.
By keeping the satellites in a lower orbit, SpaceX said it would be easier to get rid of defunct satellites without contributing to the already massive space junk problem.
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The FCC's March 2018 approval of SpaceX's first batch of satellites required SpaceX to launch 50 percent of the 4,425 satellites by March 2024 and all of them by March 2027.
SpaceX didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The FCC's approval triggers a regulatory deadline whereby the companies must place at least half their constellations in orbit within six years, and the full systems in nine.
The FCC today also voted to of letting satellites in low Earth orbit use certain frequency bands to provide services to ships, airplanes, and vehicles. To prevent the orbital debris, the FCC soon will come up with the rules for the satellite industry.
Extension to this, there are about 500,000 pieces of debris counted in orbit in 2012. As described then, the first constellation would be positioned in a higher orbit, 714 miles above Earth, use different frequencies and initially comprise 4,425 satellites. It has said it plans to begin launches next year.
"I'm excited to see what services these proposed constellations have to offer", said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in an email statement. "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".