The FCC is investigating whether a Silicon Valley startup launched satellites in defiance of the rejected application.
The Federal Communications Commission is taking action after an “apparent unauthorized launch” of four satellites by a startup company, according to a Daily Beast report. It is believed to be the first ever rogue launch of commercial satellites, and it could land the company that launched them in some major hot water if the allegations are true.
The Silicon Valley startup is called Swarm Technologies, and it is believe they conducted the launch earlier this year. The FCC is concerned that these satellites could collide with other orbiting spacecraft.
The company launch four satellites named SpaceBee 1 through 4, and they were apparently launched on a rocket on the east coast of India as part of a number of other cargo, according to IEEE Spectrum.
The experimental satellites are intended to be part of an Internet of Things network. The FCC had rejected them in a previous application not long before the launched, but the government is alleging that they went ahead and did it anyway.
It could have very negative ramifications for Swarm, as not only could there be legal consequences but they could see their hopes of investment vanish.