Earlier in April this year, AST and Science had endeavored to build the first-ever space-based cellular broadband network for easy access by any standard smartphone. The company had in fact brought forth quite and extensive patent along with an IP portfolio for the ground and space technologies.
The motive behind this attempt was to introduce 4G services to partner networks globally and then gradually introduce the 5G network system later on by enabling seamless roaming to and from terrestrial cellular networks.
But the problem arises as NASA fears this project to be lacking experience in deploying large satellites.
In 2017, the company insisted on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to supply US business satellite mobile network services. However, NASA produced opposition to this demand on the ground of positing threat to NASA missions’ safety as the SpaceMobile and A-Train projects run at a similar altitude to that of NASA’s A-Train satellite project at an altitude between 690 kilometers and 740 kilometers respectively.
While NASA has ensured built-in maneuverability in these satellites to avoid collisions that the SpaceMobile satellites are lacking in terms of deploying large satellites with a chance of failure to exceed by 10%. Instead, NASA suggests AST and Science conduct the deployment through A-train to avoid any chance of unwanted collisions.
Recent reports confirm that AST and Science have acknowledged the possibility of the circumstances and have agreed upon cooperating with NASA to resolve this issue and also will look forward to ensuring safety measures for other orbit-assets as well.