FCC to SpaceX: You have 108 months to launch 4,425 satellites, so better get cracking

by Peter B. de Selding


PARIS — The U.S. telecom regulator’s March 29 approval of SpaceX’s proposed 4,425-satellite broadband constellation is studded with caveats and qualifications, none of which is more challenging than this:

To meet the terms of its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license, SpaceX must launch, on average, 41 of its 386-kilogram satellites per month over nine years, starting right now, with the 4,425th entering operations by March 29, 2027.

And forget a leisurely acceleration of deployment cadence. The FCC requires non geostationary-orbit (NGSO . . .

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