SpaceX Will get Inexperienced Mild To Launch 7,500 Extra Starlink Satellites


Elon Musk’s SpaceX has obtained permission from the Federal Communications Fee to greater than double the variety of operational satellites at the moment orbiting the Earth in coming years. 

The FCC is permitting the corporate to maneuver forward with plans to launch 7,500 extra Starlink broadband web satellites, which is roughly one-fourth of the 29,988 extra flying routers the corporate had proposed including to its nascent mega-constellation in low-Earth orbit. 

On Dec. 1, the federal company accredited launching hundreds of second era (Gen2) Starlink routers whereas deferring motion on the remaining 22,000-plus satellites within the request. The authorization permits SpaceX to make use of Ku and Ka-band frequencies and defers the corporate’s proposed use of E-band frequencies and monitoring beacons. 

The brand new order basically replaces a earlier authorization from the FCC allowing SpaceX to deploy a gaggle of over 7,500 satellites utilizing the V-band. The corporate has since deserted that plan.

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“This means our action today does not increase the total number of satellites SpaceX is authorized to deploy,” the order reads. “And in fact slightly reduces it, as compared to the total number of satellites SpaceX would potentially have deployed otherwise.”

Still, the move reaffirms the company’s plan to make orbit significantly more crowded. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, there were 5,465 operational satellites in orbit as of April 30, 2022. That is satellites from all companies, countries and organizations in operation as of that day.

Since then, SpaceX has added more than 1,000 satellites to that number, and the authorization for Gen2 satellites will more than double that total.

Several scientific organizations have expressed concern in recent years over ways the flood of satellites in low-Earth orbit may interfere with astronomical observations and pose a potential threat to operations in orbit for astronauts and other satellites. 

SpaceX has responded with pledges to de-orbit the craft on a schedule and to add special coatings and technological improvements to reduce the satellites’ reflectivity.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Barring any future orders from the FCC, the authorization essentially ensures that we will see regular and frequent Starlink launches for the remainder of the decade. The order requires that half of the newly approved satellites be operational within six years and that the other half be launched and operational before Dec. 1, 2031. 

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