SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation might have 42,000 satellites in the end. That’s four times more than Elon Musk’s company thought at the beginning. And now, SpaceX asks for permission to launch 30,000 more satellites.
As reported, SpaceX has already filed a request to the International Telecommunication Union to launch the 30,000 Starlink satellites. At the moment, SpaceX only has the permission to launch 12,000 satellites, which the ITU and the US Federal Communications Commission approved previously.
The new plans to launch an additional batch of 30,000 Starlink satellites, that SpaceX just filed for approval, concern the scientists even more than the deployment of only 12,000 satellites. According to MIT researchers, the low orbit would, thus, become too crowdy.
That might boost the risks of collisions between satellites and other human-made space objects and the Starlink satellites. Also, a too crowdy low orbit would also negatively impact future human spaceflight.
SpaceX Plans To Launch 30,000 Starlink Satellites
Starlink satellites would have the mission to bring the Internet everywhere in the world. More technically speaking, the SpaceX Starlink constellation will employ high-performance satellite bus and ground transceivers to form a fast space-based Internet communication system.
While SpaceX’s initial plans were to launch only 12,000 Starlink satellites, Elon Musk’s company now believes that’s not enough. And an additional batch of 30,000 satellites is required, and SpaceX already asked for permission.
However, that the private space agency asked for permission doesn’t mean that SpaceX will indeed obtain the approval and launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites. Judging on the many critics that the company received from the scientific community regarding the risks that Starlink could bring, SpaceX might not get permission at all.
At the moment, SpaceX only launched 60 Starlink satellites earlier this year. The company plans to deploy 60 more this month and even more satellites in November. More will be launched in 2020 and so on.