SpaceX's constellation of Starlink internet satellites may be expanding beyond 60 the company launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida in May.
Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed paperwork with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on behalf of SpaceX, requesting permission for production and employment of 30,000 Starlink satellites, Space News reported.
If granted, the project will be able to add to the 12,000 broadband satellites already approved by the FCC, as well as 24 Starlink launches planned for 2020.
Experts say the cost of this undertaking could reach $ 60 billion without the potential employment of 12,000 satellites, Business Insider wrote Friday .
"As demand escalates to fast, reliable Internet around the world, especially for those where connectivity is non-existent, too expensive or unreliable, SpaceX is such ng steps to responsibly scale Starlink's total network capacity and data density to meet growth in users' anticipated needs, "a SpaceX spokesperson said in a statement, according to Space News.
Space.com reported that SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Starlink satellites — which were originally made to provide high-speed internet service to people all over the world — will not be able to provide "minor" coverage until about 400 fully-operational space vessels have been launched.
However , there is "no guarantee SpaceX will end up launching the already-approved 1
First announced in 2015, the Starlink mission was created partly as a financial stepping stone for other SpaceX ambitions, such as sending humans to Mars. Its success would be used on bolster projects such as Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket – developing a system that would carry humans between the earth, moon, and mars.
Following an appearance on a panel Wednesday, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell discussed the sustainability of the Starship rockets.
They will "move people and cargo to distant locations or not in distant locations but in rapid order," she told Space News . "It is important that these systems be reusable."
As previously reported by Newsweek the SpaceX raised bar for reusable space travel in August with the completion of the Dragon capsule's third mission.
The capsule, made by a Falcon 9 rocket, returned more than 2,700 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo, NASA said in a statement.
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