Press Statement 19-005

June 4, 2019

In late May, SpaceX launched its first 60 Starlink satellites into orbit. SpaceX plans to launch a much larger satellite constellation into low-Earth orbit with the goal of providing terrestrial internet service. The operation of these satellites will utilize frequencies that neighbor some radio astronomy assets in the 10.6 – 10.7 GHz band. SpaceX coordinated with NSF and its radio astronomy observatories regarding potential interference from their use of the radio spectrum. After working closely with SpaceX, NSF has finalized a coordination agreement to ensure the company’s Starlink satellite network plans will meet international radio astronomy protection standards, limiting interference in this radio astronomy band. Additionally, NSF and SpaceX will continue to explore methods to further protect radio astronomy. Together we are setting the stage for a successful partnership between commercial and public endeavors that allows important science research to flourish alongside satellite communication.


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The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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By Fenny

Senior Editor in Chief on Press Release Worldwide.

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