Categories: ScienceTechnology

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites might cause Kessler Syndrome


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s enormous increase in the satellite launching in the earth’s orbit may eventually cause Kessler Syndrome.

Just last year, the Starlink satellites were initially launched into space in accordance with the plan of the tech billionaire, Elon Musk to dominate the earth with internet access. The Starlink project consists of trainlike satellites that weigh 225 kilograms, and its size is similar to a flattened car.

The giant aerospace company, SpaceX had recently launched 60 satellites in addition to the  420 satellites currently orbiting the earth. Flying routers are also in place in order to assess internet broadband beta testing.

It appears that Elon Musk will consistently launch satellites into space to accomplish his ultimate plan of launching 42,000 satellites. Although there are people who find the Starlink useful, the environmentalists and astronomers think otherwise.

Environmentalists say the Starlink satellite generates environmental problems

Not everyone is happy with SpaceX’s train satellites. The astronomers and concerned environmentalists have raised their apprehensions with the gradual increase of the satellite numbers.

For one,  some of the biggest aerospace companies are building mega-satellite constellations. SpaceX, Planet Lab and One Web, NASA  and the European Space Agency are all planning to build a satellite mega-constellation.

The low-earth-orbit which is the current location of the satellites may be full of pollution and eventually risk a collision.

The building of mega-satellite constellation may cause Kessler Syndrome

In  review article done by MIT,  the massive mega-satellite constellation, if not controlled, will result in Kessler Syndrome. The Kessler Syndrome is a concept coined by NASA scientist, Donald J. Kessler.

Once there are too many satellites in the low-earth orbit, it could initiate a chain reaction of collision because of the high rate of pollution.  The collision will produce too much space debris, and will make the orbit unusable for decades.

Scientists have explained that space does not only belong to man-made satellites, but there are micrometeoroids orbiting the earth as popularised in Kessler’s theory.  A small piece of space rock could trigger the collision.

A more serious threat of mega-satellite constellation collision is the destruction of internet access.  Everything is now dependent on internet access, and if the satellites are already destroyed, internet access will not be possible.

Elon Musk is launching satellites in the coming weeks

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the controversies surrounding Starlink, there’s no stopping Elon Musk from the next batch of satellites. The next schedule of launching will be sometime next month.

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image Courtesy of Real Engineering/Youtube Screenshot

Steiya Aloha

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Steiya Aloha

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