Elon Musk-owned SpaceX has received Federal Communications Commission’s nod to deploy and operate 7,500 Starlink low-Earth-orbit communications satellites.
What Happened: FCC's grant represented a partial approval, as the Musk-owned venture had applied for 29,988 neo-geostationary orbit satellites to be known as second-gen Starlink constellations for offering fixed-satellite services. The FCC noted that it was deferring discussions about SpaceX's proposed use of E-band frequencies and tracking beacons.
The federal agency’s approval will allow SpaceX to begin deploying Starlink to bring next-gen satellite broadband to Americans, including those living and working in traditionally unserved or underserved areas.
See Also: How To Buy Starlink IPO Stock
The limited grant and associated conditions will protect other satellite and terrestrial operators from harmful interference and maintain a safe environment, it added. In a communication to the FCC in late May, SpaceX said it has launched 2,500 first-gen satellites of its previously authorized 4,400 Starlink satellites.
Why It’s Important: SpaceX’s Starlink uses low-orbital satellites that allow signals to pass quickly that facilitate low latency, fast broadband service.
SpaceX rivals Viasat Inc. VSAT and Amazon Inc.’s AMZN Kuiper Systems have raised objections to the Musk-owned company’s expansion, said Bloomberg. ViaSat has cited an increased risk of in-orbit collisions among satellites, while Kuiper flagged serious risks to space safety and competition.
In response, SpaceX reportedly said its satellites can maneuver and, therefore, its fleet poses an acceptably low collision risk.
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