Elon Musk SpaceX gets green signal, will launch 12,000 satellites into orbit
New Delhi : After much attempt, Elon Musk's SpaceX finally got green signal from the US authorities to lift off a constellation of nearly 12,000 satellites into orbit in order to boost cheap, wireless internet access by the 2020s.
SpaceX would largely multiply the number of satellites around Earth. Since the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik, was launched in 1957, humanity has sent just over 8,000 objects into space, according to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it had authorized SpaceX to launch 7,518 satellites, adding to 4,425 satellites it has already approved. However, no satellites have been launched yet.
For now, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has six years to put half in orbit, and nine years to complete the satellite network, according to FCC rules.
Scientists at SpaceX want that most of the satellites should fly in low Earth orbit, about 208 to 215 miles high. That would put them below the International Space Station, which orbits about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.
The main aim behind SpaceX satellite launch is to shorten the communication time between internet users on Earth and space-faring satellites, speeding up surfing speeds.
Conversely, it is also believed that the low altitude may be difficult to maintain and smaller satellites tend to have shorter lives than bigger ones.
For now, the FCC has authorized other companies to launch satellites, including 140 Kepler satellites, 117 Telesat satellites and LeoSat 78 satellites.