Astronomers Raise Concerns with SpaceX Starlink Mega Constellation

Image Dr. Marco Langbroek  sattrack cam leiden blog

Image Dr. Marco Langbroek sattrack cam leiden blog

In a tweet, Parker warned that once SpaceX completes its Starlink project, the number of satellites flying in low orbit will outnumber the stars that are visible to the naked eye. Less than 24 hours later, footage started to surface showing a bright train of Starlink satellites streaking across the night sky. Recently, Elon Musk launched 60 satellites at one shot into space.

Later on, Thursday (May 23rd) night, a Falcon 9 rocket had catapulted all of the satellites on earth's orbit from the US Cape Canaveral spaceport, while Musk had been planning to release thousands every year, the spokesman revealed.

In fact, SpaceX scrubbed a launch last week to "update satellite software and triple check everything again". A handful of test satellites have been launched by SpaceX in the past, but nothing on this scale before - in a landmark moment for the company and industry as a whole.

SpaceX said on Twitter, "Falcon 9 launches 60 Starlink satellites to orbit - targeting up to 6 Starlink launches this year and will accelerate our cadence next year to put ~720 satellites in orbit for continuous coverage of most populated areas on Earth". Once the system is fully up and running - which likely won't be until 2027 at the earliest - this satellite constellation will have the ability to deliver high-speed internet to the entire planet.

Until now, Musk had downplayed the concerns - earning criticism along the way.

Each of the satellites weighs 227kg and was built in-house in Redmond, near Seattle.

"We predict it is a key stepping stone on how in the direction of establishing a self-sustaining metropolis on Mars and a base on the moon", stated Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who can be chief government officer of automaker Tesla Inc.

Musk faces stiff competition.

In each network, the tiny satellites orbit closer to Earth than traditional communications satellites, a technological shift made possible by advances in laser technology and computer chips.

"There is a lot of technology", Musk said. Once operational, the Starlink satellites' solar arrays will be pointed away from the Earth to soak up solar rays.

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