SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company, is allowed to expand the Starlink network with 7,500 new satellites. The company had requested permission to launch 30,000 satellites, but the US regulator FCC did not want to go that far yet.
The Starlink network now consists of 3,177 satellites and another 7,500 will be added in the near future. SpaceX currently launches about fifty satellites almost every week.
The Starlink network provides customers with access to the Internet virtually anywhere in the world. The data speeds are comparable to fixed broadband internet connections in the Netherlands. To make the network even faster and to be able to serve more users, an extension is simply needed. In Q4 2022, the Starlink network had approximately 700,000 users worldwide.
The new satellites will be placed in a fairly low orbit around the earth at an altitude of about 330 kilometers. These are a new generation of satellites, which are also suitable for processing mobile telephone traffic. Apple’s new iPhone can already send emergency messages via these satellites. Apple does not yet use Starlink for this, but the satellite network of Globalstar.