Viasat Wants The FCC To Stop SpaceX Starlink Satellite Launches


Viasat is a major satellite operator with multiple satellites in orbit, and the company is trying to stop launches being conducted by SpaceX. Viasat has asked the FCC to prevent SpaceX from launching more Starlink satellites. Viasat, which is a competitor to SpaceX, plans to appeal to the court for a thorough environmental review of SpaceX’s growing mega constellation of satellites.

Viasat formally asked the FCC on Friday to stay a license modification granted to SpaceX on April 27 to allow the company to continue building out its broadband satellite constellation. Currently, SpaceX has more than 1600 satellites in orbit.

The initial permit granted by the FCC was for 1584 satellites. SpaceX currently has plans to launch 60 additional Starlink satellites today. Viasat hopes to convince an appeals court that the FCC was legally obligated to assess the Starlink constellation’s environmental impact before approving the request by SpaceX to more than double the satellites in orbit at 550 kilometers above the earth.

The FCC has in the past approved SpaceX’s plan to launch a constellation consisting of 4409 satellites, including 2825 in orbits between 1100 and 1300 kilometers, and 1584 satellites orbiting at 550 kilometers. SpaceX says the lower orbit will help it to reduce latency between satellites and the ground to improve Internet speeds.