SpaceX’s plan to expand its Starlink internet service has faced much opposition. In a change of their original plans, the aerospace company has agreed to cut down the number of second generation satellites in their “V-band” constellation by a significant amount.
SpaceX obtained an FCC license for its V-band satellite network in 2018. It revealed it would put up to 30,000 second-generation satellites in orbit to make Starlink available to more people.
However, the plan has raised concern among many professionals, including SpaceX’s rivals.
Among the concerns is that the satellites will be significantly closer to the earth at between 335 km and 346 km, compared to a distance of 550 km for the first generation.
As a result there have been complaints the satellites will crowd out the competition due to the sheer number, interfere with other satellites, and affect night sky views.
However, SpaceX has informed the FCC in a letter dated October 27, 2022 that it is significantly cutting down how many second-generation satellites it would launch.
“SpaceX hereby notifies the Commission of its intent, following issuance of the Gen2 license, to seek a modification of its V-band authorization to significantly reduce the total number of satellites ultimately on orbit.” (via PCMag)
The company did not specify a number and dismissed the environmental concern in the same letter. SpaceX has more than 3,000 first-generation satellites in orbit.
SpaceX will launch Starlink for moving vehicles in December.
You can read the full letter below.