Dish Network was fined by the FCC for leaving junk in space. In its first-ever fine in regards to space junk, the Dish Network has now been fined and ordered to pay $150,000 for not moving its defunct satellite far away from Earth.
Dish Network Fined by the FCC
The FCC has now issued its first fine for space junk to Dish Network for not deorbiting its satellite properly. The company in question admitted that it was liable for not shifting its EchoStar-7 to a safer spot and thus will be paying a penalty of $150,000 as well as also implementing a compliance plan.
The FCC’s Statement Regarding the Development
Space debris in case you don’t know is a non-functioning manmade material that is floating around space and can easily pose a hazard to working infrastructure, and this is including the ISS, which has had run-ins with debris in previous times. And according to the FCC, defunct satellites such as Dish’s can also effectively interfere with “the nation’s terrestrial and space-based communication systems by increasing the risk of damage to satellite communications systems.”
“This is a breakthrough settlement, making very clear the FCC has strong enforcement authority and capability to enforce its vitally important space debris rules,” FCC enforcement bureau chief Loyaan A. Egal in a press release stated.
Dish Had Told the FCC That It Had a Plan for Dealing with the Direct Broadcast Satellite In 2012
Dish had revealed to the FCC that it had a plan for dealing with the direct broadcast satellite way back in 2012. And by May of 2022, it was going to move the EchoStar-7 186 miles (300 km) above the geostationary orbit that it had worked in (22,000 miles above the surface of Earth). Dish by February, however, realized the satellite didn’t have sufficient propellant left to complete its supposed maneuver, and it reportedly shut it down about 76 miles (122 km) away, where it could effectively still prove to be a hazard.
What Dish’s Failure Means for the Company
This failure in question simply meant that the company had broken the terms of its FCC license, thus resulting in an investigation as well as a subsequent fine.
The FCC and the Issue of Dealing with Space Trash
The main issue of how to deal with all the trash in space is an ongoing as well as complex one, but this here is the very first time that the FCC has fined a company. While $150,000 is a really small amount and even a pocket change for Dish, a regulatory organization in question with some teeth has a much better chance of making companies to clean up their mess.
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