SpaceX has recently informed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the commencement of utilizing its second-generation (Gen2) Starlink constellation to transmit data. The company submitted a notice to the FCC on June 20, disclosing that it has initiated the upgraded internet service. “SpaceX has initiated communications between spacecraft in its Gen2 non-geostationary orbit satellite system and licensed earth stations with directional antennas located within the United States,” a SpaceX representative wrote to the FCC secretary. “These operations are compliant with the terms and conditions of its license. The first Gen2 space station was placed in its authorized orbit and began operating on February 10, 2023.”
As of today, the company operates approximately 4,368 Starlink satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), according to data compiled by astronomer Jonathan McDowell who has been monitoring the Starlink constellation. SpaceX has launched four Gen2 missions that deployed a total of 86 Starlink V2 ‘Mini’ satellites to orbit. Mr. McDowell's data indicates that 79 of those remain in orbit. The company did not specify to the FCC how many of these Gen2 satellites are already beaming data to its internet subscribers. SpaceX has permission from the FCC to launch a total of 7,500 Starlink V2 satellites that are part of the Gen2 System in the coming years. It plans to use Starship to deploy a larger, much heavier version of the V2 ‘Mini’ satellites.
SpaceX commencing Gen2 system data transmission is a significant step toward improving internet service and meeting the escalating demand for reliable connectivity. “V2 Minis include key technologies—such as more powerful phased array antennas and the use of E-band for backhaul—which will allow Starlink to provide ~4x more capacity per satellite than earlier iterations. This means Starlink can provide more bandwidth with increased reliability and connect millions of more people around the world with high-speed internet,” says the company. With the continued expansion of its satellite network, SpaceX aims to provide faster and more accessible internet access to its over 1.5 Million users around the world.
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Featured Image Source: SpaceX Starlink.com
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy 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.