SpaceX’s latest satellite fleet has fallen out of orbit after being hit by a solar storm.
Up to 40 out of 49 Small satellite What was launched last week has either burned back into the atmosphere or is on the verge of doing so, the company said in an online update Tuesday night.
According to SpaceX, the geomagnetic storm last Friday caused the atmosphere to become denser, increasing the drag of the Starlink satellites and effectively fate them.
Ground controllers sought to save the satellite by putting the compact flat-panel satellite into a sort of hibernation and flying it in a way that minimized drag. However, the company said that the atmospheric attraction was too great for the satellite to wake up and climb higher and more stable orbits.
SpaceX still has nearly 2,000 Starlink satellites orbiting the Earth and serving. Internet service To remote parts of the world. They orbit the earth over 340 miles (550 kilometers).
Satellite struck by Solar storm It was in a temporary position. SpaceX deliberately launches them into this unusually low orbit so that unexploded ordnance does not quickly re-enter the atmosphere and threaten other spacecraft.
According to the company, these newly falling satellites are not dangerous in orbit or on the ground.
Each satellite weighs less than 575 pounds (260 kilograms).
SpaceX described the lost satellite as a “unique situation.” Such geomagnetic storms are caused by intense solar activity such as flares. Flares can rush the flow of plasma from the sun’s corona into space and towards the Earth.
Since launching the first Starlink satellite in 2019, Elon Musk has envisioned thousands of more satellite constellations to improve Internet services. SpaceX is trying to help restore Internet services to Tonga through this network after being devastated. volcanic eruption And the tsunami.
Based in London, OneWeb has its own internet satellite. And Amazon plans to launch a satellite later this year.
Astronomers suffer from these giant constellations ruining nighttime observations from Earth. The International Astronomical Union is forming a new center to protect the dark sky.
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SpaceX satellite out of orbit after a solar storm
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