FCC tells SPACEX can deploy up to 11,943 satellites
SpaceX today received US approval to deploy 7,518 broadband satellites, in addition to the 4,425 satellites that were approved eight months ago.
The Federal Communications Commission voted to let SpaceX launch 4,425 low-Earth orbit satellites in March of this year. 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. That amounts to 11,943 satellites in total for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband service.
SpaceX “proposes to add a very-low Earth orbit (VLEO) NGSO [non-geostationary satellite orbit] constellation, consisting of 7,518 satellites operating at altitudes from 335km to 346km,” the FCC said in the draft of the order that it approved unanimously today. The newly approved satellites would use frequencies between 37.5 and 42GHz for space-to-Earth transmissions and frequencies between 47.2 and 51.4GHz for Earth-to-space transmissions, the FCC said.
“After review of the record, we conclude that granting of the SpaceX application will serve the public interest,” subject to conditions related to power levels, avoidance of interference with other systems, and prevention of space debris, the FCC said.