SpaceX wins approval for lower Starlink orbits, overcoming rival objections

SpaceX wins approval for lower Starlink orbits, overcoming rival objections


Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday granted SpaceX approval to operate 2,814 Starlink satellites in lower orbits than originally planned, handing a win to Elon Musk’s satellite internet project. The decision delivered a partial defeat over its competitors, like Amazon and OneWeb, which sought to thwart the tweak over concerns it would create harmful frequency interference and ramp up risks of satellite collisions.

The FCC found that allowing lower orbits for Starlink satellites “does not create significant interference problems.” Lowering the orbits, it said, allows SpaceX to make “safety-focused” changes to the constellation, like being able to more quickly discard any dead or broken satellites by steering them toward a…

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