SpaceX has abandoned plans to orbit its Starlink satellites in two different constellations. The US space company has now announced this to the US telecommunications regulator FCC. Amazon, among others, had protested loudly against the plans.
Amazon is planning its own satellite constellation to bring Internet access everywhere, but hasn’t started building it yet. SpaceX, on the other hand, has already launched almost 2,000 Starlink satellites, and there is a permit for 4,408. In total, however, Elon Musk’s company wants to launch 30,000 satellites and it was about the rest. SpaceX had planned a second configuration for the 2nd generation satellites.
More than 145,000 users
Not only Amazon had criticized that SpaceX is tearing areas in space under its nail with the plans and leaving less and less space for the competition. With the withdrawal of the application SpaceX now wants to take the wind out of the sails of this criticism and at the same time ensure that the FCC examines the proposal more quickly.
SpaceX plans to start sending second-generation Starlink satellites into space as early as March, but hasn’t got approval for that yet. The FCC is currently accepting comments on SpaceX’s application; now that it has been changed, the relevant deadline has been extended to February 8th.
SpaceX has been building Starlink since 2019. With the satellite constellation, regions that cannot be connected economically using conventional technology are to be given fast Internet access. To go online via Starlink, all you need is a small antenna that connects to the satellites, and SpaceX supplies a WiFi router. Where the offer is already available, a one-time fee of 499 US dollars (or euros) plus shipping costs will be charged. Internet access then costs 99 US dollars (euro) per month.
There is criticism, among others, from astronomers who fear for the night sky. Most recently, Starlink had According to CNBC, more than 145,000 customers in 25 states. The numbers have risen more slowly, also because the lack of chips is delaying the production of Starlink antennas.