SpaceX plans to put more than 40,000 satellites in space

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60 Starlink satellites stacked for launch at SpaceX facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

SpaceX

SpaceX has filed paperwork with telecommunications authorities that present it has plans to launch 30,000 small satellites – that’s roughly triple the quantity launched by people in historical past to date.

The paperwork had been filed final week with the International Telecommunication Union, a UN company that, amongst different issues, coordinates the launch of satellites. The filings present that the space agency owned by Elon Musk plans to launch 20 units of 1500 satellites. The plans will want approval from different our bodies and it could be a number of years earlier than the satellites may be launched.

SpaceX already has permission to launch almost 12,000 satellites to low Earth orbit, and 60 of those are already up there. It says it plans to use these to create a wi-fi web service known as Starlink.

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The agency says the brand new satellites are to meet future web demand, however they can even be effectively located for Earth statement. They will function at orbits of between 330 and 580 kilometres above earth, which suggests they may very well be used for taking excessive decision footage or video of the floor.

These orbits pose little danger of making long-term orbital particles as a result of the environment there’s thick sufficient to drag satellites or space junk downwards the place they may dissipate. SpaceX can also be making the satellites black to cut back their influence on astronomy. However, the variety of satellites being proposed is unprecedented.

“With that many satellites, there does need to be a very, very close look at the collision risk, disposal and re-entry risks,” says Hugh Lewis on the University of Southampton, UK. “SpaceX will have learned a lot from their first generation of 60 Starlinks, but the more satellites you have in a given volume of space, the more close approaches you will have.”

SpaceX advised New Scientist that demand for quick, dependable web is escalating and that it’s “taking steps to responsibly scale Starlink’s total network capacity and data density to meet the growth in users’ anticipated needs”.

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