FCC Allows SpaceX to Fly Starlink Internet Satellites in Lower Orbit

first_img SpaceX is making moves in the internet satellite sector: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cleared the private spaceflight firm’s revised plan that would fly over 1,500 of its Starlink satellites at a lower orbit of approximately 342 miles.This important step places the firm on track for a potential Starlink launch in May, Engadget reported. According to SpaceX, operating satellites at a lower orbit would result in decreased latency by cutting down transmission time to 15 milliseconds, and SpaceX would get the job done with 16 fewer satellites, which could help limit the ongoing issue of space junk.“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,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement to The Verge.Despite this positive update for SpaceX, some other companies, including Kepler Communications and OneWeb were reportedly not on board with SpaceX’s revised satellite plan and said the Starlink satellites might interfere with their own satellites in space. Despite these concerns, the FCC didn’t think that the Starlink satellites would generate “significant” interference or risk collisions.First two Starlink demo satellites, called Tintin A & B, deployed and communicating to Earth stations pic.twitter.com/TfI53wHEtz— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018Last year, SpaceX sent its first Starlink internet satellites into orbit during its PAZ Mission, GeekWire reported. “Starlink,” also known as a constellation of satellites, aims to provide inexpensive, low-latency broadband internet service and provide connectivity to those “least served” by other networks, according to a tweet from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.If anyone is curious, the name was inspired by The Fault in Our Stars— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2018SpaceX’s Starlink initiatives come on the heels of other internet satellite efforts. Earlier this month, federal filings indicated that Amazon intends to deploy more than 3,000 satellites in low Earth orbit in the future to increase internet access across the globe. Amazon’s proposed effort would include a fleet of 3,236 satellites, which aim to cover areas where approximately 95 percent of people live on the planet and boost nations’ access to broadband internet.More on Geek.com:Amazon Will Launch 3,236 Satellites to Offer Broadband Internet From SpaceSpaceX Crew Dragon Test ‘Anomaly’ May Delay Future FlightsSpaceX Loses Falcon Heavy’s Center Booster Due to Rough Seas ESA Satellite Avoids Potential Collision With SpaceX Starlink CraftSpaceX’s Starhopper Aces Final Test Flight in Texas Stay on targetlast_img