SpaceX’s “Starlink” proposal will launch 12 thousand satellites for total worldwide broadband coverage


SpaceX cleared a major hurdle in its goal to launch a network of broadband satellites in low Earth orbit yesterday, when the FCC approved a revised draft of their 2016 proposal. 

Today’s news follows the story from last month where Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, launched its first two satellites into orbit during their PAZ mission from Spain. 

Nicknamed Tintin A and B, they temporarily blasted a Wi-Fi-enabled message to the city of Los Angeles.

Now SpaceX can officially plan to launch thousands more satellites from the US, but they’d better book their launchpad schedule well in advance: the FCC requires that they launch half of their 4,425-satellite fleet by 2024—a six-year deadline. 

Current broadband satellites sit tens of thousands of kilometers above the surface; Starlink would place their 4,425 satellites at only 700 miles (1,150 kilometers), then launch another 7500 satellites at only 200 miles (320 kilometers), according to SpaceX’s FCC filing.