Tuesday, August 4, 2020

SpaceX soon may be littering Earth’s orbit with dangerous space debris

Why ‘Starlink’?

Though the ambitious nature of SpaceX has dramatically helped to escalate its position in the space race, the private space company brings severe worrying to the space community. With the introduction of its reusable Falcon 9, SpaceX has successfully launched over 180 satellites into space. The company is not willing to stop until it achieves the provision of the internet to every square inch of the earth.

The company plans to launch over 42,000 ‘Starlink’ satellites over the next decade to attain such network coverage. The vision of the company has emerged enormous responses from various fields in the space community, regarding the different prospects by which the mission may turn baleful to the society.

What are the risks involved?

The task of managing space traffic will turn colossal in a decade as these satellites occupy Earth orbit, with miscommunication at stake. The ramifications are frightening enough, as collision of these satellites with others might lead to millions of space debris.

There, in turn, lies a multitude of factors that decide the momentum of individual space debris pieces, and thus their impact. In addition to this, the study of distant bodies will also be hindered, thus debilitating space observations of scientists and enthusiasts.

In order to gain support for their project, SpaceX has agreed to divulge information on the co-ordinates and the onboard GPS data of the satellites through the Air Force. The data is open on a website named ‘StarTrack’ to the people who have licensed access. Though the company claims the requirement of satellites for a particular purpose, many allegations have been called upon the company.

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