47 CFR § 25.164 - Milestones.
(a) The recipient of an initial license for a GSO space station, other than a DBS space station, SDARS space station, or replacement space station as defined in § 25.165(e), must launch the space station, position it in its assigned orbital location, and operate it in accordance with the station authorization no later than 5 years after the grant of the license, unless a different schedule is established by Title 47, Chapter I, or the Commission.
(1) The recipient of an initial authorization for an NGSO satellite system, other than an SDARS system, must launch 50 percent of the maximum number of space stations authorized for service, place them in their assigned orbits, and operate them in accordance with the station authorization no later than 6 years after the grant of the authorization, unless a different schedule is established by Title 47, Chapter I. This paragraph does not apply to replacement NGSO space stations as defined in § 25.165(e).
(2) A licensee that satisfies the requirement in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must launch the remaining space stations necessary to complete its authorized service constellation, place them in their assigned orbits, and operate each of them in accordance with the authorization no later than nine years after the grant of the authorization.
(f) A licensee subject to the requirements in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section must either demonstrate compliance with the applicable requirement or notify the Commission in writing that the requirement was not met, within 15 days after the specified deadline. Compliance with a milestone requirement in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section may be demonstrated by certifying pursuant to § 25.121(d) that the space station(s) in question, has, or have, been launched and placed in the authorized orbital location or non-geostationary orbit(s) and that in-orbit operation of the space station or stations has been tested and found to be consistent with the terms of the authorization.
(g) Licensees of satellite systems that include both N GSO satellites and GSO satellites must meet the requirement in paragraph (a) of this section with respect to the GSO satellite(s) and the applicable requirements in paragraph (b) of this section with respect to the NGSO satellites.
(h) In cases where the Commission grants a satellite authorization in different stages, such as a license for a satellite system using feeder links or inter-satellite links, the earliest of the milestone schedules will be applied to the entire satellite system.