Dish Network and the International Dark-Sky Association have filed two separate lawsuits against SpaceX to stop the deployment of Starlink’s second-generation constellation.
Both lawsuits demand that the US Court of Appeals reverses the conditional approval from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The FCC gave conditional approval for 7,500 satellites back in December.
However, at the time, Dish Network raised concerns over the new constellation citing potential disruptions to its satellite TV business. The company noted in its filing that:
The order leaves millions of families receiving satellite television service from Dish in the same frequency band vulnerable to interference. It is unlawful and should be set aside for several reasons. (via PC Mag)
While on the other side, the International Dark-Sky Association opposes the constellation, noting it will generate too much light. They also argue that the FCC should have ordered an environmental review of the constellation before approving it.
In a statement, the International Dark-Sky Association said this:
It is unprecedented for IDA to resort to the court system to resolve disputes. But in this case, we felt compelled to act.
SpaceX has not commented on the two lawsuits. However just last week they signed a six-year agreement with the United States National Science Foundation to help reduce the effects Starlink satellites have on astronomy in which the two groups will work together to reduce satellites’ brightness through physical design, orientation and other methods.
SpaceX has just completed the first launch of second-generation satellites, with more to come in the coming months.
It is unclear if SpaceX needs to stop or pause launches while the US Appeals Court considers the merit of the two lawsuits.