A couple years back SpaceX was talking up a plan that would see it put 4,425 satellites into orbit to roll out global broadband connectivity. Created to provide worldwide internet access, which means one satellite is always above for anyone on Earth. "Our approach to these applications reflects this commission's fundamental approach to encourage the private sector to invest and to innovate and allow market forces to deliver value to American consumers", said FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said SpaceX planned to launch a satellite-internet business to help fund his ambitious goal of building a city on Mars.
Space earlier this year was granted permission to launch two broadband Internet test satellites into orbit.
A two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket topped with the Es'hail-2 communications satellite is scheduled to lift off from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:46 p.m. EST (2046 GMT). The FCC gave SpaceX approval the next month for its first 4,400 satellites.
One of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of SpaceX launching 7,518 satellites into orbit has just been overcome, according to The Verge. Existing satellites that provide Internet services are as high up as 22,000 miles, whereas Musk's "space internet" satellites have a dramatically reduced lag time thanks to their closer orbiting range.
Telesat has one of two prototypes in orbit after an Indian PSLV launch in January (the first was destroyed in a November 2017 Soyuz rocket failure), and received FCC approval for a 117-satellite Ka-band constellation a year ago.
The proposed systems that the companies want to build out use non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) satellites and are expected to enable fixed-satellite service in the US.
As a result of the space junk issue, the FCC asked SpaceX to submit debris mitigation plans. "Accordingly, we condition grant of the application on SpaceX presenting and the Commission granting a modification of this space station grant to include a final orbital debris mitigation plan".
SpaceX thus has to deploy half of the 7,518 newly approved satellites within six years and the remaining satellites within nine years unless it successfully re-applies for a waiver.
Telecommunications giant Intelsat, which operates 50 geostationary satellites, chose a different option and signed a contract with Space Logistics, a branch of Northrop Grumman, for its MEV, a "very simple system" vice president Ken Lee told AFP is much like a "tow truck". The company is building its satellites in-house.
Starlink's novelty has inspired the Pentagon, too, which seeks to pioneer a generation of cheap, disposable, lightweight satellites through its Blackjack program, spearheaded by the Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Sputnik reported.