SpaceX submits FCC requests to operate Starlink ground stations in several U.S. States

SpaceX submits FCC requests to operate Starlink ground stations in several U.S. States

Featured Image Source: SpaceX logo / Pixabay

The aerospace company that returned human spaceflight capabilities  to the United States this year - SpaceX - aims to send the first humans to Mars by the year 2024. The company envisions a sustainable colony established on the Red Planet before the year 2050. Building the rocket and spacecrafts that will launch hundreds of humans to Mars comes with an expensive price tag – SpaceX plans to offer broadband internet worldwide to fund its ambitious space program. SpaceX has been actively deploying internet-beaming Starlink satellites. The network will consist of deploying a constellation of around 12,000 satellites. As of today, the company has deployed 540 Starlink satellites into Low Earth Orbit. SpaceX is preparing to launch the tenth cluster of Starlink satellites on Wednesday, July 8th. According to SpaceX engineers, 60 Starlink satellites have the capability to beam low latency, high-speed internet to 40,000 users streaming high-definition videos simultaneously. During an interview at the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington D.C, the founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk shared Starlink will offer low latency internet below 20 milliseconds (ms) – “It will be a pretty good experience because it'll be very low latency. We're targeting latency below 20 milliseconds, so somebody could play a fast-response video game at a competitive level, like that's the threshold for the latency,” he said in March.


Images Source: Merrillan, Wisconsin resident r/darkpenguin22 via Reddit.

SpaceX is looking forward to connecting locations on Earth where internet connection is unreliable and non-existent. The company aims to roll-out Starlink Beta service in Northern parts of the United States and Canada before this year ends. Customers will receive Starlink’s signal from space via user terminals.  Additionally, SpaceX will set up ground stations that will receive the satellite’s communication. A Merrillan, Wisconsin resident captured the Starlink terminals at a ground station, pictured above. The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) already approved the operation of 1 million user terminals for SpaceX customers, households, and businesses.

SpaceX also filed several FCC requests to operate Starlink ground stations in several states. Most recent requests filed this month on July 2nd. The FCC document reveals that SpaceX has filed for permission to operate around 32 Starlink ground stations in the United States – only 5 locations have been approved so far. The images below list the locations where ground stations will be located (initially). SpaceX could have hundreds of these stations across the U.S. and ultimately all over the world one day. The stations will provide the linking factor between user terminals and datacenter for the Starlink network.

Data Source: Federal Communication Commission, compiled by

SpaceX obtained a Special Temporary Authority (STA) to evaluate Starlink’s communication performance in Texas at McGregor and Boca Chica Beach, this permission expired last month. A Boca Chica Village resident captured the Starlink user terminal antennas installed above small buildings at the company’s Starship assembly facility in South Texas, pictured below.

Image Captured by: Boca Chica Village resident Mary @bocachicagal via Twitter.



About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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