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SpaceX seeks permission to launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites

2019-10-16 18:35 by
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SpaceX has asked the International Telecommunication Union for permission to launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites. The FCC, on SpaceX's behalf, submitted 20 filings to the ITU for 1,500 satellites apiece in various low Earth orbits.

The effort is part of SpaceX's ambitious $10 billion Starlink project to create a system capable of beaming cheap broadband to locations around the world where internet connectivity is currently unreliable, too pricey, or non-existent. A growing number of companies — Amazon and Facebook among them — are also working on similar projects.

"As demand escalates for fast, reliable internet around the world, especially for those where connectivity is non-existent, too expensive or unreliable, SpaceX is taking steps to responsibly scale Starlink's total network capacity and data density to meet the growth in users' anticipated needs," a SpaceX spokesperson said.

SpaceX already has permission to deploy 12,000 internet satellites in low-Earth orbit, and launched the first batch of 60 in May 2019. If everything goes to plan, deployment is expected to take many years to complete — only several hundred are expected to launch in the next 12 months, with the remainder of the initial batch of 12,000 satellites slated for deployment by the mid-2020s.

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