The US Federal Communications Commission has approved SpaceX's request to fly a large number of its future satellite satellites in a lower orbit than originally planned.
The approval was a major regulatory obstacle the company needed to clarify in order to launch its first operating satellites from Florida next month.
In November, SpaceX sent a request to the FCC for a partial revision of the satellite internet constellation plans known as Starlink.
According to SpaceX's original agreement with the commission, the company was authorized to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites in orbit, ranging from 1,110 to 1,325 kilometers. But then SpaceX decided to want to fly 1,584 of these satellites in different orbits, thanks to what he learned from the first two test satellites, TinTin A and B. Instead of flying at 1150 kilometers, the company wants to fly them much lower to 550 kilometers.
SpaceX argues that by operating satellites in this orbit, the stellar constellation will have much lower signal latency, reducing transmission time to only 15 milliseconds. The lower orbit also means that SpaceX can achieve the same coverage with 16 fewer satellites, and the company argues that change will help reduce spatial debris.