SpaceX recently obtained permission to begin developing the subsequent Starlink internet megaconstellation.
SpaceX received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday (December 1) to launch 7,500 Starlink 2.0 satellites into low-Earth orbit.
FCC officials wrote, “Our action will allow SpaceX to begin deployment of Gen2 Starlink, which will bring next-generation satellite broadband to Americans nationwide, including those living and working in areas traditionally unserved or underserved by terrestrial systems. “Our action also will enable worldwide satellite broadband service, helping to close the digital divide on a global scale.”
However, the ruling is only a partial victory for SpaceX, The business had asked for permission to launch 29,988 Starlink 2.0 satellites all over the planet. Concerning the remaining envisioned spacecraft, the FCC is delaying its decision.
“to address concerns about orbital debris and space safety,” agency officials wrote in Thursday’s decision document, “the FCC granted only the limited approval.” “Interested parties” raised these and other concerns regarding the Starlink 2.0 application that SpaceX submitted in 2020.
According to the FCC document, “We also adopt requirements that require SpaceX to report mitigation actions taken to avoid collisions in space, coordinate and collaborate with NASA to ensure continued availability of launch windows and on other matters and pause deployment of new satellites if satellite failures exceed a certain threshold.”
Starlink has been the subject of more than just those worries. Some dark-sky advocates worry that the megaconstellation is fundamentally altering our view of the heavens, while others worry that it will have no effect on their work.
SpaceX already had permission from the FCC to deploy 12,000 Starlink satellites of the first generation, each weighing approximately 660 pounds (300 kilograms).
A sizeable portion of that number has been lofted by the business, According to Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist and satellite tracker, more than 3,200 Starlink spacecraft are currently beaming internet service to users all over the world .
Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive officer of SpaceX, has stated that future Starlink 2.0 satellites will be significantly larger and more capable.The new vehicle will weigh approximately 1,130 kilograms and be able to beam service directly to mobile phones. Indeed, SpaceX announced plans to do just that in a partnership with T-Mobile beginning in 2023 a few months ago.
Starship, SpaceX’s massive new Mars and moon rocket, is going to be used to launch the majority of the new Starlink satellites. The enormous vehicle known as Starship is still in the process of being developed, but it might take its first test flight into orbit in the coming weeks.
The Falcon 9, SpaceX’s main rocket, has been used to launch all Starlink spacecraft thus far.
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