SpaceX still has control over all the internet satellites except three of them

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SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites are functioning quite well month after launch. It’s been over a month that the company has launched their first batch of 60 internet-beaming satellites. The company has stated that they are in touch with 57 of the 60 initial broadband satellites. However, it is still not sure what happened to the rest three satellites. It is expected that they are eventually going to fall to earth as gravity pulls them down.

The rest of the satellites are working as they are intended to. Out of 57 satellites, 45 of them have raised their altitudes with their onboard thrusters and have reached their final intended orbits of 342 miles. 5 of them are still in the middle of raising their orbits whereas another 5 are undergoing additional system checks before they raise their orbits.

SpaceX is planning to deorbit two of the other functioning satellites so that they are able to test the process.

This means that a total of 5 satellites is going to disintegrate into their graves. The company stated that:

 “Due to their design and low orbital position, all five deorbiting satellites will disintegrate once they enter the Earth’s atmosphere in support of SpaceX’s commitment to a clean space environment.”

The company has implemented various systems and designs to make sure that they do not pollute the space environment.

The company doesn’t want a host of dead satellites to orbit around the earth. They are hoping to put at least 12000 internet satellites into orbit. However, there is no guarantee whether SpaceX will enjoy the same or better success rates for all of them. A comparable failure rate can affect hundreds of satellites over time. This will increase the risk of persistent space debris.

It is a good thing the satellites won’t last forever. The company is expecting that the satellites are going to last for five years before they plunge into the atmosphere. The big question is how many of the satellites will actually make a controlled plunge into the atmosphere. However, the satellites failing in unpredictable ways still remains.

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