News hardware Starlink: Elon Musk’s satellites don’t please everyone
If the Starlink satellites sent into space by SpaceX, the company of Elon Musk, make it possible to enjoy a quality Internet connection in the most remote corners of the world, NASA and other experts point today point out a major problem with these devices.
We no longer present Starlink, Elon Musk’s monumental project to connect the whole world to the Internet. This goes through the deployment of thousands of satellites sent into low Earth orbit by SpaceX rockets. This explains in large part why it is easy to see them by raising your nose to the sky when it is clear.
Starlink offers Internet connection through its satellites to people who live in remote places, where Fiber is not deployed and where 4G and 5G networks are weak or non-existent. A commendable proposition that helps many people around the world. Only, Starlink’s satellite network is getting so big it’s starting to cause serious problemsprompting space experts to sound the alarm.
Starlink, the satellite that hides the (big) asteroid
Space is a dream, but this vast unexplored territory also harbors threats, including for our planet. Asteroids capable of eradicating all life on Earth roam there, and in an attempt to limit the risk of collision, NASA and various world space agencies track down potentially dangerous celestial objects.
A process that seems to have been complicated for several years. According to a study actually published by the Apollo Academic Surveys, the rapid and massive development of satellite networks sent into space represents a real problem that hinders the observation of the sky. In response to a question posed to professionals in the sector regarding their level of concern with the increase in the launch of artificial satellites in recent years, all people said they were worried and 24% were even extremely worried.
“Satellites essentially render sensor bands unusable for near-Earth object detection”summarizes one of the participants in investigation. Others believe that solving the problem would require sending spacecraft similar to the James Webb Telescope to position them outside of immediate Earth orbit for enhanced surveillance of space.
Kessler syndrome is on the way
In 1978, NASA consultant Donald J. Kessler theorized a scenario in which space debris in low Earth orbit would exceed such a level that it would make it nearly impossible to launch new rockets, but also new satellites. The reason for this is that space pollution would be so strong that the probability of impacts with debris would be particularly high.
If Starlink satellites are already beginning to interfere with sky observation today, many scientists fear they are helping to accelerate a situation described by Kessler syndrome. “In addition to deteriorating the observation of the sky, such a flood of artificial satellites could represent a risk for the launch of a mitigation mission, intended to save humanity, in the future”summarizes one of the interviewees.
Backup solutions already exist
If we can consider that the study of the Apollo Academic Surveys paints a very bleak portrait of the situation, it must nevertheless be emphasized that many scientists point out that systems already exist to act in the event of the discovery of a dangerous celestial body, such as NASA’s DART.
Otherwise, blaming only SpaceX is arguably overkill, because the massive sending of satellites into space did not start with Starlink. However, it is perhaps so much to begin to wonder about the impact of such an approach, at a time when the conquest of space is beginning to see further and further.