Advanced Television

SpaceX asks FCC for 30,000 extra satellites

April 6, 2023

By Chris Forrester

SpaceX is again knocking on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) door and has made a fresh request to launch an overall total of 29,988 new satellites.

The FCC has already approved 7,500 of the planned 29,988 but SpaceX is now being more specific with its scheme and operational methods.

In essence, SpaceX wants to create 288 orbital planes ranging from 614 kms altitude down to 340 kms. It also wants the new satellites to be able to operate within all the popular frequency bands for satellite communications, that is Ka-band, Ku-band and W-band.

SpaceX’s original request was made back in December last year but the FCC withheld approvals on all except 7500 of the satellites and sought more and better particulars.

SpaceX’s then application had attracted objections from the likes of Viasat, Hughes Network Systems, Amazon’s Kuiper Project, SES’s O3b operation and Kepler Systems, NASA and others. Moreover, the approval of the 7500 satellites came with a caution not to expect a speedy response or approval to the remaining satellites.

SpaceX has volunteered to abandon plans for an already approved 7518 satellites using V-band spectrum provided the FCC allowed the new application to incorporate V-band frequencies into its ‘Gen-2’ designs.

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