The U.S. Federal Communications Commission remains unconvinced that low Earth orbit satellite internet constellations are worth subsidizing through its $16 billion rural broadband program despite tweaking the rules for that program to give LEO constellations a better chance to qualify for funding.
Astronomers who have spent the last year worried about the effect that SpaceX’s Starlink satellites will have on their observations say they are increasingly concerned about the impact from other proposed megaconstellations.
SpaceX launched a batch of 60 Starlink broadband satellites June 3, including one with a deployable sunshield meant to test out a new way to reduce the brightness of future satellites.
Gen. Murray: “It’s about figuring out what capabilities they can provide, and what vulnerabilities do they have?"
SpaceX has decided to add sunshades to future Starlink satellites to reduce their impact on astronomy, having opted for constellation-wide implementation of the reflective hardware.
The U.S. Army will experiment using Starlink broadband to move data across military networks.
Six SkySat satellites will be evenly split across two Starlink launches on Falcon 9.
The $8.9 million "fleet surveillance" contract gives the Space Force a closeup view of SpaceX commercial launches.
SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said April 27 that he hopes to test a new way to reduce the brightness of the company’s Starlink satellites on the next launch for the broadband megaconstellation.
SpaceX launched its seventh batch of Starlink satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket April 22, growing its internet constellation to 422 satellites in low Earth orbit.
SpaceX is asking the FCC for permission to operate all 4,400 of its first-generation Starlink satellites at much lower altitudes than previously planned.
Two senators have asked the GAO to review the FCC’s decision to exempt satellite constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink from an environmental review, given those satellites’ effect on the night sky.
Brig. Gen. Schiess said the launch will be carried out with a lean crew and social distancing measures.
SpaceX says it will take more steps to reduce the impact of its Starlink satellite constellation on astronomy, although astronomers disagree with statements by Elon Musk that the system will have “zero” effect on their work.
SpaceX successfully launched 60 satellites for its Starlink broadband constellation March 18, but failed to recover the rocket’s first stage, marking the company’s second consecutive booster miss on a Starlink mission.