Why is SpaceX deliberately destroying the next generation of Starlink satellites?

Why is SpaceX deliberately destroying the next generation of Starlink satellites?

SpaceX has been ordered to destroy the next generation of newly launched Starlink satellites.

A Starlink Satellite Enters the Atmosphere // Created via Midjourney by Frandroid

In February 2023, SpaceX launched 21 next-generation Starlink satellites into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. These satellites, which weigh about twice as much (about 790 kg), It should be able to deliver four times the data rate of the first generation.

They will also allow satellite communication via smartphones, as well as other mobile devices, as well as vehicles (such as cars). However, not everything goes as planned.

Not everything goes as planned

Experts quickly noticed that the new “Starlink V2 Mini” models behaved unusually soon after they were launched. Their height was wrong. SpaceX has just confirmed that some satellites will be deliberately destroyed.

Lots of new technology in Starlink V2, so we’re running into some issues, as expected.

Some of the seats will be deorbited, and others will be well tested before being lifted high above the space station.

– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 22, 2023

As confirmed by Elon Musk, part of the 21 satellites will be destroyed. According to the co-founder of SpaceX, they are using ” Lots of new technology So SpaceX expected difficulties to arise. So these satellites will be destroyed when they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Others will continue Extensively tested Then carefully move to a higher orbit.

Although these satellites are costly to destroy, SpaceX cannot afford to take the risk by leaving faulty satellites in orbit. This can cause serious damage to the space environment and other orbiting satellites.

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One of the most ambitious technology projects of the decade

The development of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious initiatives of the decade. As a reminder, the project aims to provide a faster and more reliable global Internet connection through tens of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit. 40,000 planned, SpaceX has already launched more than 2,600 satellites. This fleet already represents more than a third of the nearly 6,000 satellites in Earth’s orbit and two-thirds of America’s satellites.

However, the rapid development of Starlink brings a lot of problems. New technologies and advanced manufacturing processes required to build thousands of satellites at a rapid pace increase the risk of system failures and quality issues. However, strong competitiveness in this area encourages SpaceX to take risks. The American company must work quickly to get ahead of its competitors. Obviously, the financial stakes are enormous for SpaceX and any mistake is very costly.

Despite these risks, SpaceX has no choice. Consumers’ expectations of Internet connectivity are increasing and service providers need to respond quickly to these demands. SpaceX wants to maintain its leadership in this sector, while new players such as Amazon come into play. In fact, Amazon aims to compete with Starlink thanks to its project called Kuiper. It is far from the only project, several projects of the constellation are published.

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About the Author: Octávio Florencio

"Evangelista zumbi. Pensador. Criador ávido. Fanático pela internet premiado. Fanático incurável pela web."

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