Following the plan of Elon Musk’s company to launch the second generation of Starlink satellites. NASA expressed concern about the impact it would have on space missions
As part of its strategy to consolidate its starlink satellite internet, SpaceX exceeded a thousand satellites in orbit last year. The company of Elon Musk plans to launch 30,000 more satellites.
However, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (POT) expressed his concern because he assured that these satellites pose a risk to future space missions.
Samantha Fonder, representative of NASA, pointed out that “currently there are about 25 thousand objects tracked in orbit. Of which about 6,100 are located at a distance of less than 600 kilometers.
“The proposed increase in the number of Starlink spacecraft in orbit will require increased coordination and communication between the two parties to ensure the continued security of SpaceX and NASA assets.”
The mission of SpaceX “it would more than double the number of objects tracked in orbit and more than fivefold increase the number of objects below 600 km”, increasing the risks for space missions.
“The representative called for responsibility to ensure the safety of space flight and the long-term sustainability of the space environment”
NASA is concerned about SpaceX’s plans with Starlink
Michael Sheetz, a reporter for CNBC, shared the documents that NASA would have sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The POT He would have asked the agency to guarantee that the Starlink launches will not affect future space missions.
“The space agency is concerned about the increasing unavailability of safe launch windows. Especially for missions that require short or instantaneous launch windows, such as planetary missions like Europa Clipper»
In the documents the POT showed that SpaceX’s plan to launch the second generation of satellites star link would imply various problems for space missions.
NASA raises concerns about the SpaceX plan for Starlink Gen2 in letter to the FCC:
—near miss/collision with science and crewed missions
—maneuvering capability failure
—interference with space and ground-based telescopes
—launch schedule delays pic.twitter.com/J2X08uyj2t
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) February 9, 2022
Among the risks exposed by the United States agency are:
- The possibility of accidents or collisions with scientific and manned missions
- Lack of maneuverability
- Satellite interference with space and ground telescopes
- Release schedule delays
The POT noted that SpaceX satellites could interfere with telescopes that allow observing Earth’s weather, which could make it harder to detect near-Earth asteroids.