SpaceX is in the process of losing up to 40 new products Starlink An internet satellite due to a geomagnetic storm that occurred just one day after the launch of the fleet last week.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Launched 49 Starlink satellites From NASA’s historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday (February 3rd). A day later, geomagnetic storms on Earth slightly increased the density of the atmosphere, increased the drag of the satellites, and destined most of them.
“Preliminary analysis shows increased drag at low altitudes. satellite Up to 40 satellites will re-enter or have already re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere as they begin to orbit out of safe mode. SpaceX I wrote in the update on Tuesday (February 8th).
Magnetic storms occur when intense Solar wind Near-Earth objects produce changing currents and plasmas in the Earth’s magnetosphere. According to the Space Weather Prediction Center , Operated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This interaction can warm the Earth’s upper atmosphere and create sufficient atmospheric density above the planet, affecting low-Earth orbit satellites such as SpaceX’s new Starlink Craft. Friday’s geomagnetic storm January 30 sun eruption It sent a wave of charged particles, which was expected to arrive on February 2, toward the Earth.
The 49 satellites, SpaceX, launched last week, were deployed in the first orbit skimmed 130 miles (210 km) low at the lowest point of the Earth. SpaceX has stated that it will deliberately release Starlink batches in low earth orbit so that it can be quickly destroyed in the event of an immediate failure. Its orbital design turned out to have left the fleet vulnerable to a geomagnetic storm on Friday.
“In fact, the onboard GPS suggests that the storm’s escalation speed and severity increased atmospheric resistance by up to 50 percent over previous launches,” SpaceX wrote in the update.Next, the satellite is put into a protective “safe mode” and the company U.S. Space Force He added that LeoLabs is tracking them with ground radar.
But for most new Starlink satellites, the drag was too great. Locked in safe mode, up to 40 were expected to be out of orbit as follows: Space debris Only a few days after its release.
“A satellite that goes out of orbit eliminates the risk of collision with other satellites and disappears by design when it re-enters the atmosphere. That is, no orbital debris is created and satellite parts do not collide with the ground,” SpaceX said. Is writing about satellite re-entry. “This unique situation shows that the Starlink team has made great efforts to ensure that the system is at the forefront of reducing debris in orbit.”
Last week’s SpaceX Starlink launch was called the Starlink 4-7 mission and was the company’s third Starlink flight in 2022. The 49 satellites on board were expected to join more than 1,800 other Starlink satellites currently in orbit. The mission was the third launch in four days after the Italian Earth observation satellite was launched on January 31st and launched by the US National Reconnaissance General Bureau on February 2nd.
SpaceX has launched a fleet of Starlink satellites since 2019, launching up to 60 satellites at a time to build a mega constellation in orbit. Can reach up to 42,000 One day satellite. According to SpaceX, the project aims to provide high-speed Internet access to customers everywhere on the planet, especially in remote and poorly serviced areas.
The Starlink project has been criticized by astronomers for its mega-constellation Impact on astronomical observations, Because a large number of satellites crossing the night sky can leave streaks in the telescope view.Since then, SpaceX has been working to limit the visibility of Starlink satellites. To reduce their impact In the astronomy community.