5 October 2017
Ars Technica reports on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) consideration of new low-Earth orbit satellite constellation applications by SpaceX, The Boeing Company, and OneWeb. SpaceX alone plans to launch 4,425 satellites between 2019 and 2024, more than the total of all satellites currently orbiting the Earth, functioning or non-functioning. Boeing has proposed a constellation of 2,956 satellites, and OneWeb wants to launch 720. The three companies told the FCC that they are concerned about the risk space debris could pose to their satellites, and in a letter issued this week, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) urged FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to “establish an interagency working group on space debris and to develop a comprehensive domestic policy on space debris mitigation.” SpaceX outlined a plan to the FCC for “the orderly de-orbit of satellites” near the end of their useful life, around five to seven years, “a rate far faster than is required under international standards.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Ars Technica)