Starlink is a satellite internet constellation currently being constructed by SpaceX to provide planet wide broadband satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) working in combination with ground transceivers. SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military, scientific, or exploratory purposes. The SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond, Washington houses the Starlink research, development, manufacturing, and on-orbit control operations. The total cost of the decade-long project to design, build, and deploy the constellation was estimated by SpaceX in May 2018 to be about US$10 billion. The mass-produced spacecraft carry a communications payload using the Ku and Ka frequency bands, employ optical inter-satellite links, phased array beam forming and digital processing technologies. Starlink sats are able to track on-orbit debris and capable of autonomous collision avoidance. All satellites will be equipped with sunshades similar to the pioneering VisorSat. The first phase of the Starlink network will include 1584 satellites orbiting 550km above Earth in planes inclined 53 degrees to the equator. The next phase of the Starlink network uses 2824 satellites operated at altitudes between 540km and 570km at inclinations of 53.2, 70 and 97.6 degrees. The FCC application covers 4408 Starlink satellites, one fewer than SpaceX envisioned under the previous architecture. Eventually SpaceX will launch and operate a follow-on network of 7518 additional Starlink satellites transmitting in V-band frequencies.


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