SpaceX is winning the race for satellite supremacy all over the world. The company won approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 7000 new internet satellites into the low-Earth orbit. This is a record number of satellites launched by any company. The commission voted in favor of Musk’s plans which are to expand global broadband internet access by a satellite constellation called Starlink. The company hopes to include 12000 satellites by the mid-2020s. The agency approval has given SpaceX a lead in the competitive field.
There are only 2000 satellites currently floating in low-Earth orbit. This means that SpaceX is ready to build its interstellar real estate. The company gained approval to launch 4000 internet-beaming satellites. The FCC has also approved a few measures to control the build-up of space junk. Variety of companies like Rocket Lab, Iridium Next, LeoSat, and Open Cosmos are working with SpaceX to make the satellite launches cheaper and more efficient. However, the issue of crowding has become a cause of concern.
Bloomberg states, “The agency on a 4-0 vote advanced rules to require more calculations to demonstrate a planned spacecraft poses a minimal risk of collisions, and to minimize new orbiting debris — for instance, from devices that remain aloft after releasing a satellite.” To illustrate the point, FCC chairman Ajit Pai has invoked the 2013 film Gravity which shows an encounter with space junk. SpaceX is set to begin the launch of its new satellite fleet next year. However, the main idea to provide the internet will take some time to get implemented.