The SpaceX Starlink constellation may become about four times bigger than what the firm has initially planned.
Engadget cites the info from SpaceNews and reveals that the company asked the International Telecommunication Union for permission to access the spectrum for 30,000 more Starlink satellites.
It’s also worth noting that when SpaceX had first launched this bold project, it said that Starlin k is a space-based Internet network that includes 12,000 satellites.
The ITU and the US Federal Communications Commission had approved the request for the access for those 12k mentioned above, and this new batch means more than 30k units to go.
The FCC had reportedly submitted a total of 20 filings to the ITU and each one of them was asking permission for 1,500 satellites in various Low Earth Orbits, reveals the online publication mentioned above.
An impact on future human spaceflight
It’s been also revealed that the company’s desire is to place them in orbits between 2014 and 360 miles in altitude and MIT’s Technology Review notes that this could be a cause for worrying.
Aerospace Corporation’s Roger Thompson stated that while that area of space is cleanest, this location is also the one where we tend to fly crewed spacecraft, and this also includes the ISS.
He made sure to highlight the fact that flooding the area with thousands of satellites “will have an impact on future human spaceflight.”
Now, with the latest request that involves 30,000 more units, it’s important to mention that this does not mean that the project will actually launch 42,000.
Engadget reported that some of the company’s critics say that these filings “are just a ploy to drown the ITU in studies now that it’s on the verge of changing its rules.” This remains to be seen.
The company launched the very first 60 Starlink satellites into orbit earlier this year and they plan to launch 60 more by the end of this month. Then, another launch for November is also planned.