WASHINGTON — SpaceX has asked the International Telecommunication Union to arrange spectrum for 30,000 additional Starlink satellites.
SpaceX, which is already planning the world’s largest low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation by far, filed paperwork in recent weeks for up to 30,000 additional Starlink satellites on top of the 12,000 already approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC, on SpaceX’s behalf, submitted 20 filings to the ITU for 1,500 satellites apiece in various low Earth orbits, an ITU official confirmed Oct. 15 to SpaceNews.
SpaceX deployed its first 60 Starlink satellites in May and plans to launch hundreds — potentially over a thousand — more in the year ahead. The company did not respond to an Oct. 14 request for comment.
The ITU, a United Nations entity, coordinates spectrum at the international level for satellite operators to prevent signal interference and spectrum hogging. National regulators submit filing on behalf of their country’s satellite operators.
SpaceX’s ITU filings contain details about frequency usage, proposed orbital altitudes, and the number of satellites it desires. The filings do not say when SpaceX hopes to launch the satellites, or other details such as spacecraft throughput and deorbit timelines.
ITU filings are ...