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FCC to approve SpaceX broadband application
20 February 2018, 07:54 | Tara Lloyd
SpaceX is to launch first test Starlink satellites for Global Internet
Smaller satellites are crucial to lowering the cost of space-based Internet and communications.
Once deployed in the lower 319-mile (514-kilometer) orbit shared by the primary payload, the two smaller satellites are created to utilize their onboard propulsion systems to raise their orbit to 699 miles (1,125 kilometers).
The Hawthorne, California-based company now flies the Falcon 9 rocket, and last week it launched the Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful rocket in 45 years, then flew two of its spent boosters back to the Florida coast for a spectacular, simultaneous recovery on land. Here's what you need to know about it. The satellite, the first of its kind for the European nation, is set to lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base'sSpace Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at 6:16 a.m. PST (14:17 GMT) on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.
WikiWhat's the history on Starlink?
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If all goes well with both PAZ and the Starlink prototypes, SpaceX will be one huge step closer to being able to provide truly universal, affordable, and high-quality internet.
Each satellite in SpaceX's planned group will weigh about 850 lbs (386 kg).
Test stations will be located in Hawthorne; Fremont; McGregor and Brownsville, Texas; and in Redmond, Wash., where SpaceX has established an office dedicated to satellite development.
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FCC chairman Pai, who was appointed by President Trump, said last week that if SpaceX gets approval for its satellite project, it'll be a first for an American-based company in the internet-in-space race. "And it can offer more competition where terrestrial internet access is already available".
"To bridge America's digital divide, we'll have to use innovative technologies", explained Pai.
The plans received a green light as soon as the FCC approved SpaceX'sapplication for launching the test satellites into space.
SpaceX's FCC application technically proposes deploying two constellations. This will drastically cut the latency measured from GEO satellites from 600ms to between 25 to 35ms in low-earth orbit (LEO). That's about 1,100km (684m) and 1,325 km (823m) above Earth. The proposal also calls for a second, larger constellation in very low-Earth orbit, which is around 340km (211m) altitude, and it consists of 7,518 satellites. On board will be two experimental satellites that will test out the technology SpaceX plans to use for its internet service, according to public filings. As per the sources, SpaceX has extended the launch schedule of Falcon 9 to at least Wednesday, 21st February. After all, they won't stay in a fixed position.
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