The Federal Communications Commission says it has approved SpaceX’s application to provide broadband internet access via thousands of Starlink satellites — a new breed of spacecraft that’s currently under development at the company’s Seattle-area facilities.
SpaceX launched its first test prototype satellites, known as Tintin A and B, as secondary payloads last month. The California-based company plans to put 4,425 spacecraft into low Earth orbit for the first phase of what’s intended to be a low-cost satellite internet service.
“This is the first approval of a U.S.-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies,” the FCC said today in a statement.
SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, said she appreciated “the FCC’s thorough review and approval of SpaceX’s constellation license.”