SpaceX Starlink: Inter-satellite links useful, not essential; regulatory deployment deadlines not a problem

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — SpaceX told international regulators that the company does not view inter-satellite links as essential for its Starlink broadband constellation even though network performance over the oceans or other unpopulated geographies would improve with them.

Adding hardware to permit Starlink satellites to relay traffic between them in a mesh design would change the satellites’ overall mass and volume, possibly making it more difficult to continue with the card-deck stacking and release that allows the company to launch 60 at a time on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket . . .

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