As part of my cell phone’s daily random news, this popped up a couple of days ago – SpaceX says 12,000 satellites isn’t enough, so it might launch another 30,000: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/10/spacex-might-launch-another-30000-broadband-satellites-for-42000-total/.
.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 nearly 12,000 satellites the company already has permission to launch. But it’s too early in the process to determine whether SpaceX is likely to launch most or all of the additional 30,000 satellites.
The Federal Communications Commission made the requests on SpaceX’s behalf, as is standard practice, in a series of filings with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) last week. (Here’s an example of one of the filings.) The 30,000 satellites would operate “at altitudes ranging from 328 kilometers to 580 kilometers,” SpaceNews reported yesterday.
Dramatic expansion in satellites orbiting Earth
SpaceX is facing competition in the nascent low-Earth satellite broadband market from OneWeb, Space Norway, Telesat, and Amazon. Broadband delivered by low-Earth satellites should provide faster speeds and lower latencies than traditional satellites, which orbit at much higher altitudes. SpaceX has said it intends to provide gigabit speeds and latency as low as 25ms, but the company hasn’t revealed how much the service will cost.
SpaceX’s constellation alone would dwarf the total number of satellites orbiting Earth today. As of January 2019, about 8,950 satellites had been placed into Earth orbit since 1957, and about 5,000 of those were still in space, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). Only about 1,950 of those are still functioning.
Here are some other articles:
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