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posted by martyb on Thursday October 17 2019, @07:17AM   Printer-friendly
from the orbital-mechanics-is-circular-reasoning dept.

SpaceX submits paperwork for 30,000 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX has asked the International Telecommunication Union to arrange spectrum for 30,000 additional Starlink satellites. SpaceX, which is already planning the world's largest low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation by far, filed paperwork in recent weeks for up to 30,000 additional Starlink satellites on top of the 12,000 already approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC, on SpaceX's behalf, submitted 20 filings to the ITU for 1,500 satellites apiece in various low Earth orbits, an ITU official confirmed Oct. 15 to SpaceNews.

[...] In its filings, SpaceX said the additional 30,000 satellites would operate in low Earth orbit at altitudes ranging from 328 kilometers to 580 kilometers.

[...] It is not guaranteed that, by submitting numerous filings, SpaceX will build and launch 30,000 more satellites. Tim Farrar, a telecom analyst critical of SpaceX, tweeted that he was doubtful the ITU will be able to review such big filings in a timely manner. He sees the 20 separate filings as a SpaceX effort to "drown the ITU in studies" while proceeding with its constellation.

Nothing a Starship can't launch.

Starlink.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Thursday October 17 2019, @01:49PM (1 child)

    by Immerman (3985) on Thursday October 17 2019, @01:49PM (#908287)

    They can't keep the relative handful of satellites they've already launched in their designated orbits (as evidenced by the EU having to move their satellite to dodge one of the starlinks a short while back), but hey, they promise that with 40,000 more they'll do better...

    This is sounding to me more and more like a low-orbit "land-grab" - if ~95% of all satellites in orbit belong to SpaceX (there's currently 2,271 total satellites in orbit), and they can't be bothered to keep them in their designated orbit... who else is going to be willing to risk putting their satellites in low orbit?

    Fortunately they're low enough that any Kessler Syndrome would be short-lived, but it's still not a comforting scenario.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday October 17 2019, @02:42PM

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday October 17 2019, @02:42PM (#908322) Journal

    They can't keep the relative handful of satellites they've already launched in their designated orbits (as evidenced by the EU having to move their satellite to dodge one of the starlinks a short while back)

    Fake news. One prototype satellite had a small chance of hitting another satellite, and it was hyped up by the ESA. The communication issue can be attributed to it being their first batch. So yes, they will do better with the next 40,000.

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