Astra, Hughes, Inmarsat, and Telesat filed plans yesterday with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to build satellite constellations in low-Earth orbit (LEO). The FCC parcels out and regulates radio frequency (RF) usage in the US.
Why all at once? A coincidence? But of course not. Yesterday was the deadline for the FCC’s new processing round for satellite V-band applications. Details:
- Astra, which has a critical launch coming up, filed an application for up to 13,620 LEO satellites.
- Hughes applied for 1,440 LEO satellites.
- Inmarsat is requesting US V-band access with a future 198-satellite constellation.
- Telesat has applied to build more satellites to extend its current network, theoretically bringing its constellation size to 1,671.
An open question: How many satellite constellations is too many satellite constellations?