SpaceX Wins in U.S. Appeals Court to Deploy Starlink at Lower Orbits

Following SpaceX’s approval to fly some of its Starlink satellites at lower altitudes, the company has officially clinched the update after it was taken to appeals court.

A U.S. appeals court upheld SpaceX’s plans to deploy satellites at a lower altitude, following approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year, reports Reuters.

The news comes after competitors Amazon and Viasat requested FCC reject SpaceX’s lower orbital plans for Starlink, as well as its plans for a next-generation satellite.

Additionally, DISH urged the FCC to halt SpaceX’s Starlink internet for moving planes, boats and vehicles in June. SpaceX went on to gain FCC approval for Starlink in moving planes, boats and vehicles later that month.

Last year, Viasat also asked the FCC to revoke government funding for Starlink, and this year the FCC cut $886 million in funding for Starlink, saying the company “failed to meet program requirements” and calling it a “risky project.”

Earlier this week, SpaceX announced plans to launch Starlink V2 with a new cell phone service by 2023.

SpaceX also unveiled a new “best-effort” Starlink service plan to help address U.S. pre-order customers who have been stuck in the company’s massive backlog.

Earlier this month, SpaceX also started a bug bounty program, awarding up to $25,000 for hackers who can find bugs within Starlink’s system.