Starlink Held Responsible for Half of All Contacts in Space to Date
It has been announced that Starlink is in constant close contact with other spacecraft and satellites, and this is quite risky. If SpaceX launches other satellites, space debris and Starlink satellites could threaten spacecraft.
Most satellites in space have to be constantly moved. This is because the satellites do not crash into other spacecraft and space debris. But Starlink's satellite network greatly increases the likelihood of these collisions and threatens spacecraft.
This satellite network owned by SpaceX can be found in the route of space vehicles and other satellites and can put both Starlink satellites and spacecraft at risk. According to the announced data, Elon Musk's satellites come into close contact with satellites almost 1,600 times every week.
Starlink could be a threat to other satellites Hugh Lewis, Head of the Department of Astronautical Studies at the University of Southampton, said that these close contacts were from a distance of 1 kilometer. This distance is too small to be a threat to huge spacecraft. Lewis also stated that, thanks to the information in the Socrates database, there is a lot of "space junk" in space and that this garbage can pose a threat to
Speaking about Starlink in an interview with Space.com, Lewis said, "When we look at the data when Starlink was first launched in 2019, we can more easily understand the chaos created by Starlink. According to the Socrates database, Starlink is responsible for half of the close contacts to date," and expressed the confusion that Starlink has created in space.
In addition, according to the information in the Socrates database, these satellites of SpaceX come into close contact with other satellites 500 times a week. This number rises to 1600 weekly when counted in contacts with its own satellites.
Much more dangerous than its competitors
OneWeb, which rivals SpaceX's Starlink brand, currently has more than 250 active satellites, but these satellites are in close contact with other satellites only 80 times each week, Lewis said. When this number is compared with the number of Starlink, the seriousness of the situation becomes apparent.
According to calculations, if SpaceX launches its other 12,000 satellites into orbit, Starlink will cause 90% of the close contacts and dangers in space. In this case, collisions due to Starlink will be inevitable. Pieces of a single satellite shattered in zero gravity can destroy all satellites in a chain.
Although SpaceX relies on the autonomous collision avoidance system for the safety of its satellites, there is always the possibility of unpredictable events.