SpaceX will burn 100 Starlink satellites in the Earth’s atmosphere

Elon Musk’s SpaceX space company plans to take about 100 of its outdated Starlink Internet satellites out of orbit. This means that these satellites will be intentionally burned in the atmosphere. The solution is designed to provide “controlled de-orbiting”, unlike in cases of unforeseen exit from the specified orbit, which was previously observed with other Starlink satellites.

Starkink satellites in the artist’s image. Source: SpaceX

SpaceX explained that these measures are being taken as part of Starlink’s commitment to ensure safety in Earth orbit, protecting astronauts and satellites, as well as people on Earth. Later, the statement admitted that there was a common problem in a small group of 17 satellites, which could lead to their failure in the future.

During the launch of the satellites, SpaceX will monitor the spacecraft to make sure that they do not interfere with other space objects. If there is a danger, technicians will share information about their trajectory with other companies that also have satellites in low Earth orbit. 

SpaceX boasted that of the nearly 6,000 satellites in their fleet, only 406 had previously had to be removed from orbit, and 95% of them had already burned down. However, with the removal of another 100 satellites from orbit over the next six months, this means that more than 8% of the company’s satellites will have to be destroyed.

Starlink satellites still have another problem in low-Earth orbit, as they have to maneuver to avoid collisions. In recent months, Starlink satellites have gone out of their way almost 26 thousand times, which indicates the congestion of near-Earth orbit.

This SpaceX’s decision highlights how quickly the space race is changing, as well as how quickly such technologies are losing relevance due to the oversaturation of space

Earlier, we reported on how SpaceX was caught publishing false satellite images.

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