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SpaceX's Starlink internet-satellite constellation may end up being even bigger than we thought — a lot bigger.
The company already has permission from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch up to 12,000 Starlink craft to low Earth orbit. And SpaceX recently filed paperwork with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for up to 30,000 additional Starlink satellites, SpaceNews reported yesterday (Oct. 15).
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It's unclear how many Starlink satellites SpaceX will actually build and launch, however. Submitting to the ITU — a United Nations agency that, among other things, manages the global satellite radio-frequency spectrum — is a preliminary step, as SpaceNews noted. ITU approval would have to be followed by a thumbs-up from the FCC, which regulates interstate communications in the U.S.
More: SpaceX's 1st Starlink Megaconstellation Launch in Photos!
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And there's no guarantee SpaceX will end up launching the already-approved 12,000 satellites. Elon Musk, the company's founder and CEO, said earlier this year that economic viability could come with a constellation of about 1,000 satellites.
But still, launching...
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