SpaceX Aims To Improve Internet Services With Launch Of More Than 4,000 SatellitesBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
SpaceX has recently asked permission to launch more than 4,000 satellites. Apparently, this is part of the company's efforts to improve broadband and communication services for users.
Business Insider reported that Elon Musk's space company has filed an application to launch 4,425 satellites. SpaceX submitted the petition to the Federal Communications Commission.
It was noted that there are currently 1,419 active satellites orbiting the Earth. This is based on data compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Moreover, it is believed that there are about 2,600 satellites floating around in space that are no longer working. Even as those numbers are factored in, SpaceX's proposed number of satellites are still a lot more than everything that has already been sent up to space.
SpaceX's FCC application further revealed that they won't be sending up the typical telecommunications satellites. Each satellite has been found to weigh about 850 pounds, about 386 kilograms.
The satellites will also be about as big as a MINI Cooper car. They will be orbiting the Earth at altitudes ranging from 715 miles, about 1,150 kilometers, to 790 miles, about 1,275 kilometers.
With this vantage point, SpaceX confirmed that each satellite would be able to cover an ellipse about 1,300 miles (or 2,120 km) wide. The publication added that this would be approximately the distance from Maine to the Florida panhandle.
"The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users worldwide," SpaceX's FCC application read. "With deployment of the first 800 satellites, SpaceX will be able to provide widespread U.S. and international coverage for broadband services. Once fully optimized through the Final Deployment, the system will be able to provide high bandwidth (up to 1 Gbps per user), low latency broadband services for consumers and businesses in the U.S. and globally."
According to BBC, SpaceX is not the only company looking at this market. Intelsat (OneWeb), SES (O3B), Telesat and Boeing are also working on their own development plans.