SpaceX warning: Faulty Starlink satellites pose huge THREAT to future of space travel

SpaceX successfully launched 60 satellites into orbit last week as part of their Starlink project which focuses on bringing high-speed internet to anyone around the world. The company hopes the so-called ‘megaconstellation’ will grow to include thousands of satellites in the coming years. But Elon Musk’s plans could be thwarted if a single satellite loses power and crashes into another.

Two satellites colliding would send pieces of junk flying through space.

The debris could then smash into another satellite setting off a chain reaction where satellites are obliterated.

Senior researcher T.S. Kelso said the issue must be dealt with immediately.

Dr Kelso told CNN: “We’ve got to figure out how to get a handle on this.

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“The community needs to understand that it’s not about probability — it’s risk. It’s the consequences.”

The junk could impact Starlink, the International Space Station, spy satellites and Earth-imaging technology, according to CNN.

GPS services would be knocked out as well as weather tracking technology and even flights could be grounded.

Luckily, the scenario is incredibly unlikely.

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, told CNN: “If you put up 10 times the current total number of satellites, the risk isn’t just ten times as big — it’s 100 times bigger.”

Mr Musk said SpaceX takes the problem very seriously and said Starlink satellites can automatically dodge traceable pieces of debris.

He told reporters: “We are taking great pains to make sure there’s not an orbital debris issue.”

However Mr McDowell added: “If there’s some subtle failure that only kicks in two years after launch you could end up with a thousand dead satellites in the operational orbit.”


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