SpaceX gets green light to launch 7,500 more Starlink satellites


SpaceX has received the green light from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to double its constellation of Starlink satellites currently orbiting Earth in the coming years.

Elon Musk’s space company will be able to go ahead with launching an additional 7,500 Starlink satellites to provide high-speed internet, which is about a quarter of the 29,988 satellites SpaceX hopes to put into Earth orbit.

The new FCC authorization allows Starlink to use Ku- and Ka-band frequencies and postpones proposed use of E-band frequencies and tracking beacons.


This means that our action today does not increase the total number of satellites that SpaceX is authorized to deploy.
“, we can read in the FCC document. ”
And in fact, it reduces it slightly compared to the total number of satellites that SpaceX would potentially have deployed.
»

Either way, this decision will lead to an increase in the amount of satellites in low Earth orbit. The Union of Concerned Scientists counted 5,465 operational satellites per April 30, 2022. Since that date, SpaceX has added more than 1,000 more satellites, and the permit will more than double that total.

Astronomers worried about this scattering of satellites

In recent years, several scientific organizations have expressed concern about how the proliferation of satellites could interfere with astronomical observations and pose a potential threat to astronauts’ operations in orbit.

SpaceX has promised to deorbit the craft on time and add special coatings and technology upgrades to reduce the reflectivity of its satellites.

Unless otherwise ordered by the FCC, the approval ensures that we will see regular and frequent Starlink launches for the rest of the decade. The executive order actually calls for half of the newly approved satellites to be operational within six years, and for the other half to be launched and operational by December 1, 2031.

CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance

Image: SpaceX/Flickr

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