FCC allocates spectrum for US commercial space industry, including today’s Crew-2 launch

FCC allocates spectrum for US commercial space industry, including today’s Crew-2 launch
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The FCC has allocated spectrum to support the growing number of US commercial space launches, including today’s Crew-2 mission.

SpaceX’s Crew-2 launch will send four astronauts – National Aeronautical Space Administration’s Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, Akihiko Hoshide from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency – into orbit.

Weather-permitting, the launch is scheduled for 10.49am BST (5.49am EDT) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said:

“Their journey will mark a new day in America’s space program. It is possible, in part, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission. That’s because Crew-2 is the second flight of a NASA-certified commercial system and the second international crew of four to launch on an American commercial spacecraft.

These efforts require Special Temporary Authority from the FCC for the spectrum they need for launch communications. So I am thrilled to say that we are able to play a role in this history-making event.”

The FCC is playing its part by adding a new commercial allocation to the 2200-2290 MHz band to support commercial space launches. While frequencies for space launches were exclusively allocated for federal agencies in the past, the addition of a non-federal, secondary allocation was required for the rise of private launches.

The regulator is also asking for input on the technical rules and coordination procedures that are required for sharing these airwaves and is seeking comment on the use of other spectrum bands for commercial space launches.

Specifically, the FCC is considering allocations and licensing rules for three other spectrum bands—420-430 MHz, 2025-2110 MHz, and 5650-5925 MHz.

You can (hopefully) watch the Crew-2 launch here:

(Image Credit: SpaceX)

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