SpaceX satellite deployment plan upheld in appeal court

A plan by Elon Musk’s SpaceX to deploy some Starlink satellites into lower Earth orbit was upheld by an appeals court on Friday.

Initial approval came from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2021.

The SpaceX package was part of a campaign to bring space-based high-speed Internet access to people who currently lack access to Internet service.

The plan to fly 2,824 satellites into a lower orbit has faced opposition from competitors Viasat Inc. and DISH Network Corp.

SPACEX HAS LAUNCHED 46 ADDITIONAL STARLINK SATELLITES INTO ORBIT

Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX. ((Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)/Getty Images)

Viasat said it believed “the decision is a setback for space security and environmental protection.”

The company added that had the court forced the FCC to address “the complex issues associated with the deployment of mega-constellations in (low Earth orbit), we believe that the harmful impacts that could otherwise linger for decades, if not centuries, could have been avoided”.

SpaceX launch in Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload of 53 Starlink satellites takes off from Cape Canaveral, Florida in April 2022. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius/Reuters Photos)

In a court filing, Viasat noted that SpaceX’s deployment plan was massive, noting “for comparison, about 10,000 satellites, in total, have been launched in all of human history.”

“We will remain vigilant to ensure SpaceX’s operations do not harm our millions of satellite customers,” DISH said.

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SpaceX did not immediately comment.

Space X and T-Mobile announce service plan

Spacex founder Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO and chairman Mike Sievert talk about a mobile satellite phone plan. (SPACEX DOCUMENT)

Last week, T-Mobile United States and SpaceX announced that they are teaming up to boost mobile phone service in remote areas via Starlink satellites.

Teleprinter Security Last To change To change %
VSAT VIASAT INC. 38.58 -1.70 -4.22%
PLATE DISH NETWORK CORP. 17.61 -0.95 -5.12%

The companies said the service would reduce the need for cell towers and extend cellular service in areas where it currently does not exist.

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The new service is expected to begin texting in a beta phase from the end of next year.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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