Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Kristin Zimmerman

FCC Grants SpaceX Approval to Deploy 7,000 Broadband Satellites

FCC Grants SpaceX Approval to Deploy 7,000 Broadband Satellites

Created to provide worldwide internet access, which means one satellite is always above for anyone on Earth. On top of that, we'll be able to access the internet from any part of the world.

Elon Musk's SpaceX has received approvals from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put a constellation of almost 12,000 satellites into orbit that would foster cheap wireless Internet access by the 2020s.

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.

The FCC also granted SpaceX's request to add two V-band channels to its previously authorized constellation: 37.5-42.0 GHz for space-to-Earth communications, and 47.2-50.2 for Earth-to-space links.

In the first phase of the American businessman will need to run into space more than 7.5 thousand satellites. In its request for modifications, SpaceX said the lower altitude would increase the space between its satellites and those of other proposed NGSO constellations, making for a better safety profile and mitigating the risk of collision. The first Starlink satellites should become operational by either 2019 or 2020. On top of this, all the satellites should hit the orbit within nine years.

Right now there are fewer than 2,000 operating satellites, and the planned additional space traffic demands vigilance, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said before the agency voted Thursday on a variety of space-related matters including SpaceX's application, debris rules, and other space matters.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the constellations that advanced today are evidence of a major shift in space activities, since the number of approved satellites almost equals the 8,126 objects that have been launched into space since Sputnik in 1957. The regulator started a consultation on proposals to improve disclosure of debris mitigation plans, 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. Satellite-based service today now are used for service on ships and airplanes.

That request has not yet been addressed by the FCC and must go through a public comment period. In total, the Starlink network will have 11,943 satellites orbiting Earth. 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. "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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