FCC approves SpaceX plan to put over 7,000 satellites in orbit

Satellite constellation

SpaceX's interest in such a low orbit is to shorten the communication time between internet users on Earth and space-faring satellites, speeding up surfing speeds.

The FCC said approval to the four companies on Thursday will enhance competition among existing and future FSS satellite systems.

The first Satellite Sputnik was launched in 1957. SpaceX separately sought approval for 7,518 satellites operating even closer to the ground, saying that these will boost capacity and reduce latency in heavily populated areas.

SpaceX had asked the FCC to approve modifications to its license, reducing the altitude from 1,150 kilometers to a new altitude of 550 km. The project would cost Dollars 10 billion to develop, and SpaceX aims a fully operational constellation by the mid-2020s. It is noted that the system will entirely consist of cube-Sats - small satellites, the cost of which is comparatively low relative to the military and major telecommunication data transmission from orbit.

The FCC said it is "propos [ing] changes to improve disclosure of debris mitigation plans" and on "satellite disposal reliability and methodology, appropriate deployment altitudes in low-Earth-orbit, and on-orbit lifetime, with a particular focus on large NGSO satellite constellations".

Based on a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists policy group, there are around 1.886 satellites are orbiting Earth.

SpaceX is teasing latencies of 25ms having Gigabits of speed which is impressive.

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Es'hailSat, established in 2010 in Doha, owns and operates satellites to serve broadcasters, businesses and governments. The rocket's first stage, which previously flew in July, re-landed again on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

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The growing number of plans for low-Earth-orbit satellites also prompted a review of the FCC's rules on cleaning up orbital debris.

SpaceX thus has to deploy half of the 7,518 newly approved satellites within six years and the remaining satellites within nine years unless it successfully re-applies for a waiver. It is believed that 25% to 50% of these satellites are still under active conditions.

The new regulatory approvals set the stage for two companies, SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, and Telesat of Ottawa, Canada, to expand constellations already approved a year ago with more satellites in the rarely used V-band spectrum.

The FCC has also authorized other companies to launch satellites, including Kepler (140 satellites), Telesat (117 satellites), and LeoSat (78 satellites). The company already has permission to launch 4425 Satellite. Looking at the size of SpaceX's constellation, the chances of collision increases largely.

This constellation of 11,943 satellites- weighing between 220 and 1,100 pounds- will form the expansive Starlink broadband network.

Authorisation comes as SpaceX successfully launched its 18th rocket into space from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, with a Falcon 9 rocket lifting Qatar's Es'hail 2 communications satellite into orbit. It is worth noting that these two satellites are for test purposes which demonstrate Starlink on a small scale.

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