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Here’s how SpaceX’s satellites might work

Satellite constellation
The satellite coverage scheme described in a patent application envisions two sets of satellites orbiting in different inclinations at different altitudes. (PatentYogi via YouTube)

When it comes to providing global broadband internet coverage, two satellite constellations in low Earth orbit are better than one. At least that’s the implication of a patent application filed by an inventor who used to work at Google and is now part of SpaceX’s Seattle-area satellite operation.

Mark Krebs’ concept is described in an application that was filed last September, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January, and picked up this week by PatentYogi’s Deepak Gupta. It calls for setting up two sets of satellites orbiting at different altitudes with different inclinations.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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