back to article FCC gives SpaceX OK to launch 7.5k Gen2 Starlink satellites

The FCC has granted SpaceX permission to launch its Gen2 Starlink satellites, assuming it can adhere to a bevy of conditions, including ensuring Musk's expanded satellite constellation doesn't interfere with other space operations or become an environmental risk.  SpaceX's application asks the FCC to let it launch 29,988 Gen2 …

  1. Filippo Silver badge

    Not directly related, but we really need to figure out a way to clean up space junk.

    1. Marty McFly Silver badge

      Already done...

      That's been a standard for awhile. And it looks like it is being tightened up from 25-years to 5-years.

      We even have a target for them.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Already done...

        That also happens to be the location of Ry'leh.

        Sooner or later C'thul'hu will object to objects being dropped on his tentacles

  2. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Smaller batches

    What "we need Starship" to launch? Just send them up in smaller batches. Doesn't have to be 60 of those every time, just send 50 with each launch. Or 30, if they insist on such higher led content to make them more robust.

    1. Pascal

      Re: Smaller batches

      The Gen2 satellites are not only 4x heavier but also much bigger than Gen1.5 that they currently launch.

      The largest batch with Falcon 9 was 54 satellites but it's generally in the 45-50 range depending on target orbit.

      For Gen2, it would be single-digit counts. Not economically (and timely) viable.

      Only way they can get 1000s in orbit is with the ~100+ tons to LEO (and massive volume) of Starship.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: Smaller batches

        54 was max? Then soneone should update wikipedia

        Thx for mentioning "4x heavier", should have been in the article. Let El Reg hire you!

        1. Jan 0 Silver badge

          Re: Smaller batches

          > Then soneone should update wikipedia

          Don't tell us, get on with it!

          1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

            Re: Smaller batches

            What? You want me, who's just been proven to be wrong, to update an Wikipedia article? You have strange ideas!

            1. that one in the corner Silver badge

              Re: Smaller batches

              You have shown a desire to have Wikipedia be accurate, the boldness to put your knowledge out for public fact checking and the intellectual honesty to accept that you can be wrong.

              That sounds like a winning combo.

        2. TheRealRoland
          Thumb Up

          Re: Smaller batches

          The article states that the satellites are too heavy to launch - and provides a link to an earlier article that goes into more details. Not every article needs to repeat all details of a previous article.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Smaller batches

        Where does Falcon Heavy fit in all this?

        1. eldel

          Re: Smaller batches

          I think it's a volume issue as much as weight. You're still, more or less, restricted to the same volume as an F9. Unless you design a whole new 3rd stage. Which would change all the aerodynamics for a start. So I can see why they only want to use starship.

          What worries me is that a whole lot of things appear to be reliant on that working. I'm sure they can make it work, eventually. I respect Ms Shotwell's abilities to get shit done as much as anyone but it's huge step from F9 to where they need to be.

  3. Tony.

    What's the worst that could happen...

    Let's hope Elon doesn't do to starlink what he's done to Twitter...Sack most the staff and just hope nothing fails (or maybe falls or collides is more appropriate...)

  4. Mayday Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    Nice of the yank FCC making the approvals which affect the whole world.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: FCC

      They only regulate US launches and the conditions laid on said launches. Other countries have their own versions of the FCC and/or other interested agencies giving similar authorisations and conditions on launches from their territories. Not all Government agencies will place the same conditions on them, eg some will not really care where their left over rocket parts land.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gen2 on Falcon 9

    "Of interest is a quick note that the FCC made in its approval: SpaceX recently informed it that it plans to orbit Gen2 Starlink satellites using both Starship and Falcon 9 vehicles. "

    SpaceX made that announcement a few months ago. They do need to slightly modify the Gen2 satellites to fit Falcon 9:

  6. Mishak Silver badge

    "and several of the test flights have ended in crashes or explosions"

    I really wish that reports would mention that most of* the crashes and explosions were not failures; there was no expectation that the early flights would even make it back to the pad, and the close-to-landings were a bonus on the test plan.

    * The only "failure" was the one that exploded at about 1km up in the fog.

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