May 28 (UPI) — SpaceX and OneWeb filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday to launch nearly 80,000 satellites into near-Earth orbit,media reported. SpaceX applied to launch 30,000 satellites, while OneWeb applied for nearly 48,000.
SpaceX has approved nearly 12,000 previously, along with the 30,000 satellites it applied for, roughly the same as the company’s previously announced Starlink plan. But OneWeb’s application to launch nearly 48,000 satellites was surprising because the company filed for bankruptcy in March. As things stand, OneWeb is unlikely to launch most of them into orbit. OneWeb has said it intends to use bankruptcy proceedings to “sell the business and seek to maximize value”. There is no doubt that the FCC’s approval of the launch of more satellites would increase the value of OneWeb’s assets and provide more options for those who buy the company.
SpaceX and OneWeb filed applications yesterday because of the Federal Communications Commission’s deadline. Other suppliers applied for a relatively small size of Internet satellites. Telesat applied for the launch of 1,671 NEAR-Earth orbit satellites, Kepler for the launch of 360 NEAR-Earth orbit satellites and Viasat for the launch of 288 NEAR-Earth orbit satellites. Mangata Networks applied for the launch of 791 satellites into the mid-Earth orbit.
The FCC requires satellite licensees to launch 50 percent of their satellites in six years and all satellites within nine years, unless they are exempt.