WASHINGTON — U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has requested International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on behalf of SpaceX to allocate spectrum for addition 30,000 satellites on top of already approved 12,000 satellites.
ITU is a body of United Nations (UN) responsible for issues concerning information and communication technologies. National regulators submit filing on behalf of their country’s satellite operators. FCC has submitted 20 filings to the ITU for 1,500 satellite a piece with altitudes ranging from 328 to 580 kilometers. Usually a filing is submitted years before an operator actually starts to manufacture and launch the satellites.
The filings contain details about the frequency range, orbital altitudes and the number of satellites to be launched. SpaceX has to provide more details about its constellation to FCC once it will apply for broadband rights in the US market like it did with the 12,000 satellites.
SpaceX explained this latest filing in a statement “As demand escalates for fast, reliable internet around the world, especially for those where connectivity is non-existent, too expensive or unreliable, SpaceX is taking steps to responsibly scale Starlink’s total network capacity and data density to meet the growth in users’ anticipated needs.”
According to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), there are currently 4,987 satellites in orbit around Earth, 1,900 of which are still operational. By sending a total of 42,000 satellites to LEO, SpaceX will be single-handedly responsible for increasing the number of objects launched in the history of humanity by a factor of five.