Washington: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order approving SpaceX’s request to deploy an additional 7,500 Starlink satellites.
“Specifically, we grant SpaceX authority to construct, deploy, and operate up to 7,500 satellites operating at altitudes of 525, 530, and 535 km [kilometers] and inclinations of 53, 43, and 33 degrees, respectively, using frequencies in the Ku- and Ka-band,” the FCC said in the order on Thursday.
However, the FCC deferred consideration of SpaceX’s proposed use of E-band frequencies and tracking beacons in its satellites.
SpaceX seeks to operate a network of 29,988 non-geostationary orbit satellites for its Starlink constellation, which provide internet to areas with little to no access.
Starlink currently has some 3,500 Starlink satellites active in low-Earth orbit.
Starlink has been playing a key role in helping Ukraine’s military to operate and communicate on the battlefield, however, in September, SpaceX sent a letter to the US Defense Department requesting funding for the Starlink systems in Ukraine, claiming it could no longer pay for the service out of pocket. Musk later withdrew the request.