FCC Approves SpaceX’s Revised Starlink Satellite Plan; First Wave Gets Set For Liftoff

GeekWire has the details:

The Federal Communications Commission today [26 April] approved SpaceX’s proposed revisions in its plan to put thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit to provide global broadband connectivity, clearing the way to start launching satellites next month.

SpaceX already had authorization for 4,425 Starlink satellites that would use Ku- and Ka-band radio spectrum to beam internet data, but last November, the company asked the FCC to sign off on a plan that would put more than a third of the satellites in 550-kilometer-high (340-mile-high) orbits rather than the previously approved 1,150-kilometer (715-mile) orbits.

Eventually, SpaceX plans to add another wave of more than 7,500 satellites in even lower orbits to enhance the constellation’s coverage.

[. . .]

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, praised the FCC’s action in an emailed statement:

“This approval underscores the FCC’s confidence in SpaceX’s plans to deploy its next-generation satellite constellation and connect people around the world with reliable and affordable broadband service. Starlink production is well underway, and the first group of satellites have already arrived at the launch site for processing.”

SpaceX says that first wave of satellites will be launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida no earlier than May.

[. . .]

SpaceX has said an initial version of its Starlink service could offer high-speed connectivity starting in the 2020-2021 time frame. SpaceX is required to put half of its constellation’s satellites into operation by 2024. To facilitate that task, SpaceX is laying the groundwork for its super-heavy-lift Starship launch system in Texas. [Emphasis added]

The full article is HERE

It is estimated that a super-heavy-lift Starship launch system could put 375 Starlink satellites on orbit per launch. Source

Here is an interesting Starlink video: https://youtu.be/QrI6aCGdB00

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