SpaceX May Soon Launch Prototype Satellites

SpaceX May Soon Launch Prototype Satellites

WASHINGTON-A top federal regulator on Wednesday recommended approving Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s plan to provide internet service through huge arrays of earth-orbiting satellites, in a move that could expand broadband availability across the USA and beyond.

SpaceX could launch the first two demonstration satellites of its proposed network of satellites as early as Saturday, according to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

SpaceX is one of 11 companies that all followed OneWeb in asking permission to sell telecommunications services in the US with new non-geosynchronous satellite systems in 2016.

A per the latest reports, SpaceX may launch its first satellite for global internet constellation on February 17.

SpaceX has been working on their own satellites for the past 3 years and now they are getting ready to launch the first two prototypes as a secondary payload on their upcoming launch of hisdeSAT's Paz, an earth observation satellite, on February 17th. SpaceX may have name recognition on its side, but the FCC is also approving similar projects.

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On Feb. 6, the company launched the world´s most powerful rocket, SpaceX´s Falcon Heavy, from Florida. "SpaceX's application-along with those of other satellite companies seeking licences or access to the U.S. market for non-geostationary satellite orbit systems-involves one such innovation".

In previous filings with the FCC, Patricia Cooper, SpaceX's vice president for satellite government affairs, explained that developing a satellite system is "highly proprietary and may take several years to finalize, during which time the operators hold details as highly confidential for obvious competitive reasons". The next major goal is deploying a network of thousands of satellites that could offer high-speed internet around the world.

Satellite internet access is already available, of course, but the satellites for those services are in orbits so high that latency - that is, the delay in light-speed transmission - becomes a negative factor, particularly for broadband applications such as voice-over-internet phone services.

Each satellite in SpaceX's planned group will weigh about 850 lbs (386 kg).

A SpaceX Falcon 9 delivers telecommunications satellites to orbit that will join a constellation run by Iridium. SpaceX has named the project as Starlink which aims at providing low-priced internet access on a global scale.

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