Last December, the FCC denied a request by Silicon Valley startup Swarm Technologies to operate four prototype satellites for a planned machine-to-machine internet communications system because the birds were too small to be readily tracked by the U.S. Space Surveillance Network. Nevertheless, a month later, SpaceBEE 1-4 rode into orbit as secondary payloads aboard an Indian PSLV rocket, says Curt Blake, president of Seattle-based Spaceflight, which arranged for the ride. “We launched ...

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