Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

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The FCC this week unanimously approved SpaceX’s ambitious plan to launch 7,518 satellites into low-Earth orbit. These satellites, along with 4,425 previously approved satellites, will serve as the backbone for the company’s proposed Starlink broadband network. As it does with most of its projects, SpaceX is thinking big with its global broadband network. The company is expected to spend more than $10 billion to build and launch a constellation of satellites that will provide high-speed internet coverage to just about every corner of the planet.

SpaceX plans initially to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites into a low-Earth orbit followed by an additional 7,518 satellite at an even lower orbit. The first group of satellites will operate at an altitude of 1,110km to 1,325km and will form the backbone of the company’s Starlink broadband service. The additional satellites will circle the Earth at altitudes from 335km to 346km and will boost capacity and lower latency, especially in densely populated areas. Because of these low orbits, SpaceX says its planned Starlink broadband network will have latencies as low as 25ms and gigabit speeds that will rival existing cable or fiber optic systems. Not only will it be fast, but the Starlink network also will reach those areas that have poor or no internet connectivity.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX is about to launch the first of 11,925 internet satellites — more than all satellites that orbit Earth today

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The launch is expected to also deploy two experimental communications satellites. The two satellites may test aspects of Starlink, a project to bath Earth in high-speed internet access.

The Starlink plan calls for nearly 12,000 interlinked satellites — many more than currently orbit Earth — but Musk and SpaceX have been relatively quiet about it.

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Google to launch 180 low-orbit satellites that provide Internet access

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The billion-dollar project will complement Google’s balloons and drones.

Google wants to deploy a fleet of satellites to extend internet access to areas around the world that do not have internet access. The fleet of satellites will cost Google $1 billion. Google “will start with 180 small, high-capacity satellites orbiting the earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites, and then could expand.”

 

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Monitoring People from Space: The Good the Bad, and the Ugly

Futurist Thomas Frey: In the late 1980s, I was an engineer working as part of an IBM team to build a mobile satellite command and control center for monitoring missile launches from space. This contract was part of Regan’s “Star Wars” missile defense system.

 

 

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Bring a patent office to Colorado petition

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Colorado’s savvy entrepreneurs and highly skilled workforce make it a perfect location for a new satellite patent office.

Colorado is a hub for economic innovation. Colorado has some of the most savvy entrepreneurs, a highly skilled workforce and an array of top-tier research institutions that help make Colorado a place where innovation thrives.

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China axes two-thirds of popular television shows

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Chinese reality TV show, Super Girl is an annual national singing contest produced by Hunan Satellite Television.

On January 1st, an order to curb “excessive entertainment” on television came into force in China. In response, the number of scheduled entertainment programs has dipped sharply from 126 a week to just 38, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.

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Satellite image of North Korea at night

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Satellite image of North and South Korea at night.

The world’s most secretive country is also one of its darkest. This satellite image shows night in North Korea. The capital Pyongyang, near the western coast, is one of the only places in the country with electricity. At the top of the picture, the illuminations show cities in China. At the bottom right, Kyushu and the southern islands of Japan.

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