- Parabolic Arc
- March 23, 2023
Companies Propose Launching 8,700 Satellites into Non-Geosynchronous Orbit
While SpaceX has received most of the attention for its plan to launch more than 4,000 broadband satellite network, the constellation makes up just over half the number of spacecraft that companies have proposed placing in non-geosynchronous satellite orbit (NGSO).
Companies have filed applications with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 8,731 NGSO communications satellites. While most of the constellations would provide broadband and communications services, others would collect Earth observation data.
According to the International Telecommunications Union, NGSO spacecraft “occupy a range of orbital positions (LEO satellites are located between 700km-1,500km from the Earth, MEO satellites are located at 10,000km from the Earth), and do not maintain a stationary position, but instead move in relation to the Earth’s surface.”
SpaceX leads the pack with 4,425 spacecraft, followed by Boeing with 2,956 and WorldVu (aka, OneWeb) with 720. Boeing has a second application before the FCC for a constellation with 60 satellites.
The table below provides a summary of the applications filed with the FCC.
|NGSO APPLICATIONS BEFORE FCC|
||NO. OF SATELLITES
|SpaceX||Hawthorne, CA||4,425||Ka, Ku||Global broadband|
|Boeing||Seattle, WA||2,956||V||Advanced communications, Internet-based services|
|WorldVu (OneWeb)||Arlington, VA||720||Ku||Global broadband|
|Kepler Communications||Toronto, ONT||140||Ku||Machine-to-machine communications (Internet of Things)|
|Telesat Canada||Ottawa, ONT||117||Ka||Wide band and narrow band communications services|
|Theia Holdings A, Inc.||Philadelphia, PA||112||Ka||Integrated Earth observation and communications network|
|Spire Global||San Francisco, CA||100||Ka||Maritime monitoring, meteorological monitoring, and earth imaging services|
|LeoSat MA||Pompano Beach, FL||80||Ka||Broadband services|
|Boeing||Seattle, WA||60||Ka||Very high speed connectivity for end-user earth stations|
|O3b||Washington, DC||60||Ka||Broadband services|
|ViaSat||Carlsbad, CA||24||Ka, V||Broadband services|
|Karousel LLC||Alexandria, VA||12||Ka||Communications|
|Audacy Communications||Walnut, CA||3||K, V||Data relay constellation providing satellite operators with seamless access to NGSO satellites|
|Space Norway AS||Oslo, Norway||2||Ka, Ku||Arctic broadband|