May 22, 2022

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Starlink (SpaceX) satellites keep avoiding collisions in space

Starlink (SpaceX) satellites keep avoiding collisions in space

Elon Musk Company Launched thousands of small satellites To provide high speed internet. This can lead to a problem that may not be so important right now, but In the future it could become very dangerous.

There are and will be many more satellites in orbit in the future

According to data from the European Space Agency currently There are more than 7,500 satellites orbiting in space. the problem is, being in constant motion, This can cause a collision between satellites. It is considered close encounter When two satellites pass by One kilometer away.

There is a series of satellite orbital coupling databases Assess potential threats of these space objects outside. It receives the name SOCRATES and works to follow the movement of satellites and space debris in order to evaluate Possible collision risk.

When there is a risk of collision, this system Sends an alert to satellite operators To perform the necessary maneuvers to avoid collision.

In the past two years, the number of satellites in space has increased significantly due to the Starlink program, in fact, it is estimated that Starlink satellites have 1600 close encounters each week. It also represents 500 close encounters with other satellites in space.

Various reasons can cause these malfunctions

The problem is that this situation can get worse Because of two factors. The first is that if the number of satellites that SpaceX has already launched appears to be too many, the company’s idea is that through its program they will arrive Throw up to 12000 During the first generation stage of the decade.

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On the other hand, the second problem is that Starlink satellites are designed to avoid collisions on their own. This means that when the satellite itself detects the danger of collision, moving independently To avoid collision and entry new track which other satellites do not know.

Collisions can cause the birth of new space debris that could lead to new collisions in the future. Actually recently A Chinese satellite was destroyed for unknown reasons Finally, he learned that the space debris that had collided with the satellite was responsible for the accident.