FCC Opens Proceeding on Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing in Space

Proceeding on Innovation and Transformation in the Space Economy

WASHINGTON (FCC PR) — In an effort to promote United States leadership in the emerging space economy, the Federal Communications Commission today voted to open a proceeding on the economic potential and policy questions related to servicing, assembly, and manufacturing taking place beyond the earth’s atmosphere. This Notice of Inquiry will examine the opportunities and challenges of space missions like satellite refueling, inspecting and repairing in-orbit spacecraft, capturing and removing debris, and transforming materials through manufacturing while in space.

Today’s action continues this modernization effort as in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing capabilities – or “ISAM” – has the potential to build entire industries, create new jobs, mitigate climate change, and advance America’s economic, scientific, technological, and national security interests. ISAM missions take place on-orbit, in transit, or on the surface of space bodies. The FCC’s effort to open up this conversation dovetails with the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s recent release of a ISAM National Strategy.

(more…)

FCC Rejects Applications of SpaceX and LTD Broadband for $2.2 Billion in Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Subsidies

Applicants Failed to Meet Program Requirements and Convince FCC to Fund Risky Proposals

WASHINGTON, August 10, 2022 (FCC PR) —The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is rejecting the long-form applications of LTD Broadband and Starlink to receive support through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund program.  The Commission determined that these applications failed to demonstrate that the providers could deliver the promised service.  Funding these vast proposed networks would not be the best use of limited Universal Service Fund dollars to bring broadband to unserved areas across the United States, the Commission concluded.

“After careful legal, technical, and policy review, we are rejecting these applications.  Consumers deserve reliable and affordable high-speed broadband,” said Chairwoman [Jessica] Rosenworcel.  “We must put scarce universal service dollars to their best possible use as we move into a digital future that demands ever more powerful and faster networks.  We cannot afford to subsidize ventures that are not delivering the promised speeds or are not likely to meet program requirements.”

(more…)

5G for 12GHz Coalition Claims SpaceX Grossly Distorted Study on Signal Interference

5Gfor12GHz Coalition Statement

The 5Gfor12GHz Coalition today responded to a recently filed Starlink submission into the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) 12 GHz proceeding, setting the record straight on the company’s misinformation campaign.

Since the FCC initiated the 12 GHz proceeding 18 months ago, the Coalition has worked with top experts, including RKF Engineering Solutions – a preeminent engineering firm with decades of experience in modeling Radio Frequency environments in collaboration with leading telecommunications companies and global regulators – to submit robust, data-driven technical analyses into the record. These studies demonstrate not only that coexistence is feasible in the band, with 99.85% of NGSOs experiencing no risk of harmful interference alongside 5G, but the substantial societal, economic and geopolitical benefits of unleashing more critical mid-band spectrum for two-way terrestrial services. After failing to submit any expert technical input during the public comment and reply comment periods in the proceeding, Starlink has only now submitted a self-produced political document in the guise of a technical analysis. This “study,” which was not produced by an independent expert, is both scientifically and logically flawed, as demonstrated in part by the following:

(more…)

FCC Grants SpaceX Permission to Provide Starlink Broadband Service to Vehicles as Battle with DISH Network Rages Over Frequency

Starlink Premium antenna. (Credit: SpaceX)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted permission to SpaceX to provide Starlink broadband service to vehicles, vessels and aircraft. Bloomberg reports:

The Federal Communications Commission announced the decision in an order published Thursday, which said it also granted permission for the service to mobile customers of Kepler Communications Inc.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the formal name of Musk’s closely held company, has launched about 2,500 first-generation satellites in its Starlink fleet and serves almost 500,000 subscribers worldwide….

The FCC said it received requests to deny or defer the new SpaceX service from Viasat Inc., Dish Network Corp. and RS Access LLC. Viasat has objected to SpaceX’s Starlink, saying it raises the risk of in-space collisions, while Dish and billionaire Michael Dell’s RS Access are embroiled in a dispute with SpaceX over airwaves use.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is engaged in a battle at the FCC over DISH Network’s attempt to expand its use of 12 GHz band. SpaceX disagrees with DISH’s claim that the expansion would render its Starlink satellite broadband useless to most U.S. users.

“Despite technical studies dating back as far as 2016 that refute the basis of their claims, DISH has attempted to mislead the FCC with faulty analysis in hopes of obscuring the truth. If DISH’s lobbying efforts succeed, our study shows that Starlink customers will experience harmful interference more than 77% of the time and total outage of service 74% of the time, rendering Starlink unusable for most Americans,” the company said in a statement.

You can read the details of the study here, as well as SpaceX’s letter to the FCC on the dispute.

AST SpaceMobile Announces Summer Launch Date of BlueWalker 3 for Direct-to-Cell Phone Connectivity Testing

The BlueWalker 3 test satellite is scheduled for launch into low Earth orbit the week of August 15th from Cape Canaveral, FL

AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 test satellite is 693 square feet in size, designed to generate power from space and deliver cellular broadband directly to your phone. (Image Credit: Business Wire)

MIDLAND, Texas (AST SpaceMobile, Inc. PR)AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, has confirmed it plans to launch its BlueWalker 3 test satellite from Cape Canaveral, FL during the week of August 15, 2022.

(more…)

Affordable Connectivity Program and Viasat Deliver Quality Broadband Internet to Qualifying Households Nationwide

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Viasat Inc. PR) — Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, announced today that it provides nationwide discounted high-speed satellite internet service through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to qualifying households nationwide, including residences outside the cable and fiber footprint. The ACP is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

(more…)

Momentus Reports $26.8 Million First Quarter Net Loss

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Momentus PR) — Momentus Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTS) (“Momentus” or the “Company”), a U.S.  commercial space company that plans to offer transportation and other in-space infrastructure services, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022.

“We’re excited to have seen momentum building last quarter as we move toward the first launch of our Vigoride orbital transfer vehicle to low earth orbit,” said Momentus Chief Executive John Rood. “We recently shipped the Vigoride spacecraft to Cape Canaveral, Florida for integration onto a SpaceX rocket. Cape Canaveral has been the site of so many historic firsts in space, and we’re looking forward to a historic first for our company when we put the Vigoride spacecraft in orbit for the first time.”

(more…)

Momentus Vioride OTV Hits a Snag on Orbit

Vigoride (Credit: Momentus)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Momentus PR) — Momentus Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTS) (“Momentus” or the “Company”), a U.S. commercial space company that plans to offer transportation and other in-space infrastructure services, today announced a status update on its first demonstration mission.

We have established two-way contact with the Vigoride Orbital Transfer Vehicle, and as is often the case with a new spacecraft, have had some initial anomalies. We are using an unplanned frequency as we work through this and are applying for a Special Temporary Authority (STA) with the FCC to address that in order to help command the vehicle back to nominal configuration. Our engineering and operations team is working to address the anomalies.

About Momentus

Momentus is a U.S. commercial space company that plans to offer in-space infrastructure services, including in-space transportation, hosted payloads and in-orbit services. Momentus believes it can make new ways of operating in space possible with its planned in-space transfer and service vehicles that will be powered by an innovative water plasma-based propulsion system that is under development.

Momentus Receives FCC License for First Flight

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Momentus PR) — Momentus Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTS) (“Momentus” or the “Company”), a U.S. commercial space company that plans to offer transportation and other in-space infrastructure services, today announced that it has received a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting the inaugural flight of the Vigoride orbital transfer vehicle on the upcoming SpaceX Transporter-5 mission targeted for launch in May 2022.

The FCC license, issued after consultation with government agencies, authorizes Momentus to use radio frequencies to communicate with Vigoride while the spacecraft is in Low Earth Orbit.

(more…)

SpaceX to Launch Rival OneWeb’s Broadband Satellites

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

OneWeb announced this morning that it will resume launches of its broadband satellite constellation with SpaceX, which is deploying its rival Starlink broadband satellite network. The agreement comes after OneWeb terminated a contract to continue launching on Soyuz boosters in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

(more…)

Go For Launch – MyRadar Secures FCC License for April Rocket Lab Launch

ORLANDO, Fla., March 08, 2022 (ACME AtronOmatic PR) — ACME AtronOmatic, LLC, makers of the popular MyRadar weather and environmental awareness app, has secured its FCC license for the upcoming launch of its first batch of prototype satellites out of New Zealand on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket. The launches are expected to begin in April.

The prototype launch will validate some of the company’s key hardware components for its upcoming HORIS (Hyperspectral Orbital Remote Imaging Spectrometer) commercial constellation expected later this year. The license is part of a streamlined, experimental license program available from the FCC geared towards expediting and simplifying the application process in order to nurture domestic innovation.

(more…)

Fleet Space Technologies Launches First Phase of Global Expansion by Establishing U.S. Presence

Internet of Things satellite (Credit: Fleet Space Technologies)
  • Fleet Space Technologies rapid growth continues through first international market HQ
  • Houston strategically selected due to proximity to key industries and existing collaboration through NASA’s Artemis programme
  • Global expansion follows an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Further global growth planned
  • Fleet Space Technologies is Australia’s leading space company

HOUSTON (Fleet Space PR) — Fleet Space Technologies, Australia’s leading space company has established its first international HQ in Houston, Texas. This first phase of the company’s ambitious global expansion plans follows institutional affirmation of its vision and proven commercial model in the rapidly growing space industry.

(more…)

Falcon 9 Launches 49 Starlink Satellites From Florida

Falcon 9 launches 49 Starlink satellites. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

SpaceX launched 49 Starlink satellites into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 on Thursday, marking the start of the 2022 orbital launch campaign. The booster lifted off at 4:49 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX has now launched 1,944 satellites into orbit for its broadband satellite network, with 1,764 currently working. Elon Musk’s company has received approval to launch just under 12,000 Starlink satellites from the Federal Communications Commission. It has an application to launch 30,000 additional satellites to bring the constellation to nearly 42,000 spacecraft.

It was the fourth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched GPS III-4, GPS III-5, and Inspiration4.

Planned Comsat Constellations Now Exceed 94,000 Satellites

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A wave of new applications submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week for approval for communications satellites operating in the V band has sent the number of spacecraft in large constellations soaring to nearly 100,000.

A list compiled by Parabolic Arc shows that 94,255 satellites are included in the constellations. That number includes 29,439 satellites approved by the FCC or in development in China. The FCC has applicants pending before it for another 64,816 satellites.

(more…)

Astra Space Applies to Launch More than 13,000 Satellites; Proposed Broadband Constellations Exceed 79,000 Spacecraft

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Astra Space has applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the launch more than 13,000 communications satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), joining SpaceX, OneWeb, Amazon and other companies seeking to provide broadband services across the globe. The application brings the number of proposed satellites in these constellations to more than 79,000.

“The Astra Constellation as proposed would ultimately consist of as many as 13,620 operational LEO satellites, supported by a global network of gateway earth stations utilizing the identified V-band frequency bands for feeder links for space-to-earth transmit and receive,” the company’s application said.

(more…)