FCC authorized the launch of the second generation of Starlink

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted SpaceX permission to launch 7,500 second-generation Starlink satellites. This is about a quarter of the planned volume of the grouping.

The launch of the second generation Starlink satellites in the artist’s image. Source: tesmanian.com

At the moment, there are about 3,300 Starlink satellites in orbit — and in the near future the company plans to increase this figure to 12 thousand. However, we are talking about the devices of the so-called first generation of the system. In the future, SpaceX plans to begin deploying the second generation of Starlink. These devices will be larger and more powerful than the current ones. The main means of putting them into orbit should be the Starship spacecraft. 

In order to make it possible to proceed with the implementation of this plan, SpaceX has submitted a corresponding application to the FCC. The company requested permission to launch 19,400 satellites to the 340 and 360 km orbital echelons, 468 satellites to the 604 and 614 km orbital echelons and 10,080 satellites to the 525 and 535 km orbital echelons.

As a result, the FCC partially satisfied SpaceX’s requirements. The company received the go-ahead to launch 7,500 satellites into orbits with heights of 525 and 535 km. As for the rest of the devices, the FCC postponed a decision on this issue until the company actually starts deploying the second generation Stalink. In addition, SpaceX was assigned a number of additional requirements, such as the obligation to coordinate its actions with other satellite operators and NASA. Also, the FCC has introduced new limits on the number of faulty satellites to reduce the risks associated with the formation of space debris.

Despite the fact that so far the FCC has given the go-ahead to launch only a quarter of the second generation of Starlink, analysts view this decision as a victory for SpaceX. Recently, the company has been subjected to active attacks from competitors who demanded to completely ban the deployment of Starlink.

Recall that SpaceX recently announced the creation of a satellite platform Starshield, designed to accommodate government and military cargo.

According to https://spacenews.com

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