The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) issued a press release announcing the streamlining of the application process for small satellites. Small satellites have become increasingly used for commercial endeavors, scientific and research missions, communications, and remote sensing. The new licensing process, which is optional, cheaper and more flexible, is designed to cover these types of smaller-scale operations.

This process is designed for satellites that have a short on-orbit lifetime, have a maximum wet mass of 180 kilograms, and have a mission profile designed to produce low risk of orbital debris and spectrum interference. This process also implements a new application fee and regulatory fee category for those who seek a U.S. license or at least access to the U.S. market.