June 25, 2019 | 9:27 AM IST
spacex

Internet satellites won’t ruin view of skies with telescope: SpaceX

The SpaceX said that the first 60 satellites in its starlink constellation will be less and less visible from Earth as they reach their final orbit.
Several space enthusiasts have photographed and filmed the line of 60 satellites created by Elon Musk’s company on May 23. But astronomers are afraid the constellation of broadband-beaming satellites, which could grow to 12,000 and ruin the scientific view of the cosmos from telescopes. Though the Musk has downplayed the concerns of Nasa till now, for the first time it addressed the issue on a serious note on Friday.

SpaceX announced that all 60 500-pound satellites have deployed their solar arrays and generated positive power and communicated well with the ground stations. The satellites were released by Falcon 9 rocket at an altitude of 450 kms. The satellites, deployed at an altitude of 440 kilometers, headed towards an operational altitude of 550 kilometres, will take their respective positions in the coming 3-4 weeks. Most of these satellites are using their onboard propulsion system to reach their operational altitude and have made initial contact using broadband phases-array antennas.

Starlink will become operational once 800 satellites become active which will require several more such launches. While astronomers agree that global internet services are a worthy goal, the satellites are way too bright.

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