Starlink is SpaceX's grand plans of launching the world's largest low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation. While the company has already launched 60 satellites in May, it still plans to send hundreds of spacecraft more in the coming months to complete its goal.
SpaceX is seeking permission to launch another 30,000 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites for its Starlink broadband network, which would be in addition to the almost 12,000 satellites the company already has permission to launch.
This could be because the ITU is expected to add more stringent spectrum reservation rules for megaconstellation ventures during the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference, which takes place from October 28 to November 22 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The FCC, on SpaceX's behalf, submitted 20 separate filings to the ITU, International Telecommunication Union. SpaceX says it is trying to make the base of the satellites black.
SpaceX's filing is quite in advance although it is not committing to launch all 30,000 satellites.
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In a statement, SpaceX said it is "taking steps to responsibly scale Starlink's total network capacity and data density to meet the growth in users' anticipated needs".
Now playing: Watch this: Are SpaceX Starlink satellites ruining the night sky? Also under fire were the existing Iridium constellation, as well as the in-progress OneWeb and Globalstar internet networks along with Amazon's recently announced Project Kuiper satellite internet. Apparently, those plans have now expanded and involve creating a constellation that will reach a maximum of 42,000. The recent request for permission could take seven years to get clearances before the specified satellites are launched, The Sun reported on Wednesday. This satellite will then need to operate at the specified frequencies for a period of 90 days. Exciting stuff to see from SpaceX (as always). Each Starlink satellite is optimized to service a set number of users, and so far it's unclear what that number is. SpaceX has stated that the satellites would have steerable spot beams to link with customers and omnidirectional beams for spacecraft telemetry, tracking, and control functions.
To put things into context, there are now 2,100 active satellites orbiting our planet, out of 23,000 objects recorded. In total, an estimated 8,378 have been launched since 1957, when Sputnik 1 became the first satellite launched.
Once the space company receives its spectrum rights through the "bring into use" procedure, other satellite operators will have to design succeeding ventures to avoid interfering with SpaceX's existing system. Even for Musk, that seems a little farfetched!