FCC authorizes SpaceX Gen2 Starlink: Up to 7,500 satellites

A series of Starlink satellites deploying in orbit after launch on November 13, 2021.


The Federal Communications Commission has issued an important authorization to by Elon Musk SpaceX on Thursday licensed the company to move forward with the launch of up to 7,500 next-generation satellites in its Starlink internet network.

“Our actions will allow SpaceX to begin deployment of Gen 2 Starlink,” the FCC wrote in the order.

The FCC did not grant SpaceX’s full application, which includes the deployment of nearly 30,000 satellites in low Earth orbit, and placed some conditions on the company’s plan to deploy the satellites. It defers the decision on the application to launch the full volume.

The FCC has imposed a limit on the number of satellites in SpaceX’s second-generation Starlink constellation, and at the same time called Gen2aims to “address concerns about orbital debris and space safety.”

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SpaceX is also required to work with other satellite operators, as well as with NASA and the National Science Foundation, to protect their respective radio astronomy and science missions.

The FCC decision is crucial to SpaceX’s plans to expand its satellite network, which has been hotly contested in filings with regulators from companies including Viasat, DISH and Amazon.

To date, SpaceX has launched about 3,500 first-generation Starlink satellites into orbit. The service has about 500,000 subscribers as of June. The company has continuously expanded Starlink’s product offerings also, sell services to residential, corporate, RV, marine and aviation customers.

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