SpaceX has been granted permission to deploy 7,500 of Starlink’s next-generation satellites
SpaceX just got permission to start building the next generation of Starlink on the massive Internet.
On Thursday (December 1), the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX to deploy 7,500 Starlink 2.0 satellites into low Earth orbit.
“Our work will allow SpaceX to begin deploying Gen2 Starlink, which will bring the next generation of satellite broadband to Americans across the country, including those who live and work in non-commercial areas,” FCC officials wrote in Thursday’s decision order. Conventionally serviced or deprived of terrestrial systems. You can find here (Opens in a new tab). “Our work will also enable satellite broadband service around the world, helping to bridge the digital divide on a global scale.”
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However, the verdict is only a partial victory for SpaceX; The company has applied for permission to deploy 29,988 Starlink 2.0 satellites around the Earth. The FCC is delaying a decision on the rest of the envisioned spacecraft.
The FCC only granted the limited approval “to address concerns about orbital debris and space safety,” agency officials wrote in the decision document released Thursday. These and other issues have been raised by “interested parties” in connection with the implementation of Starlink 2.0, which SpaceX introduced in 2020.
“We are also adopting requirements that require SpaceX to report mitigation actions taken to avoid collisions in space, coordinate and cooperate with NASA to ensure continued availability of launch windows and in other matters and stop deployment of new satellites if satellite failure exceeds a certain threshold,” the FCC document states. .
These aren’t the only concerns people have raised about Starlink. Astronomers worry about massive planets affecting their work, for example, and some dark-sky advocates worry it fundamentally changes our view of the sky. (Opens in a new tab).
SpaceX has already received permission from the FCC to deploy 12,000 first-generation Starlink satellites, each weighing about 660 pounds (300 kilograms).
The company cemented a large percentage of that number; More than 3,200 Starlink spacecraft are broadcasting Internet service to users around the world right now, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell. (Opens in a new tab).
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, said that Starlink 2.0 satellites will be much larger and more capable than their predecessors. The new vehicle will tip the scales at around 1.25 tons (1,130 kg) and will be able to send service directly to mobile phones. In fact, a few months ago, SpaceX announced plans to do just that starting in 2023, through a partnership with T-Mobile.
SpaceX plans to augment the lion’s share of the new Starlink satellites with the Starship, its new massive rocket to Mars and the Moon. Starship is still in development, but the massive craft could be launched on its first orbital test flight in the coming weeks.
All Starlink spacecraft to date have launched atop the Falcon 9, SpaceX’s giant rocket.
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