Viasat asks FCC to halt SpaceX launches
May 27, 2021
By Chris Forrester
California-based satellite operator Viasat has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop – or at least pause – SpaceX from launching any more of its Starlink satellites.
Last month the FCC ruled that SpaceX could modify its licence and place some satellites into different orbits than originally permitted.
The request to the FCC from Viasat comes while Viasat is also petitioning the FCC to carry out an environmental review of SpaceX’s plans and the consequences for satellite end-of-life atmospheric re-entry damage, light pollution and the dangers of space debris.
Viasat is arguing that the FCC – in permitting SpaceX’s modifications – has not taking into account the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and in particular the damage disintegrating satellites could cause to the environment.
Viasat is asking the FCC to order SpaceX to cease all activity.
Viasat says that if there’s no ruling from the FCC then it intends to place the problem before the US Appeals Court.