Press "Enter" to skip to content

NASA Expresses Concern of SpaceX’s 30,000 Satellites Over Risk of Collisions

NASA Expresses Concern of SpaceX’s 30,000 Satellites Over Risk of Collisions | Tech Times

NASA has expressed its concerns regarding SpaceX’s Starlink plan to send 30,000 satellites. NASA’s concerns are regarding how the “orbital network will impact the space agency’s missions.”

NASA Expreses Concerns to the FCC Regarding SpaceX Starlink’s 30K Satellite Network

According to the story by PCMag, although SpaceX’s Starlink network still needs to secure FCC clearance before launches, NASA is already worried. A 7-page filing was submitted by the space agency to the FCC which outlined the “risk of the 30,000 satellite network” which could cause congestion around Earth’s orbit.

CNBC was the first to report the agency’s writings noting that they want to ensure that prudent conduction of the deployment of the Starlink Gen 2 happens in a way that would “support spaceflight safety and the long-term sustainability of the space environment.”


Risk of Collision Remains Top Concern for the Satellite Mega-Constellation

The risk of collision for the 30,000 satellites into other space objects is one of NASA’s main concerns. In order to avoid this, a satellite with an “autonomous anti-collision system” was designed by SpaceX.

NASA, however, remains doubtful about the “zero risk” claim stating no orbital collision will ever happen, especially since there are also other plans of larger satellite constellations. NASA stated that since tens of thousands of spacecrafts are being planned, they do not recommend that people assume ground detection systems, propulsion systems, and software are 100% reliable.

Additional Concerns Regarding the Potential Satellite Fleet in Space

If there are manual operators for the satellites, NASA also notes that it is still not 100% error free. 1,400 active satellites are being operated within the first-gen Starlink network as of the moment with the second-gen network expected to scale the number immensely.

Excessive sunlight reflection is also another concern that NASA has regarding the Starlink satellites saying it could potentially “disrupt space telescopes from observing Earth’s climate” and even “block ground-based telescopes from detecting near-Earth asteroids.”

NASA’s Concerns of Disruptions from the Starlink Satellites

NASA also worries about the potential difficulty of sending spacecraft to the International Space Station due to 20,000 Starlink satellites expected to orbit under it. The article by PCMag, however, clarifies that NASA is not against the second-generation Starlink network by SpaceX.

More evidence is being requested by NASA regarding proof that the mega-constellation “won’t one day disrupt the space agency’s activities.” SpaceX was recommended to publish an analysis that would explain how the Starlink satellites’ auto-maneuver capabilities are “sufficiently scalable.”

Read Also: 40 SpaceX Starlink Satellites Reportedly Hit By Geomagnetic Storm | How Dangerous is it?

SpaceX is Waiting for Approval from the FCC for its 30,000 Satellites

Technical details are also being requested by NASA as the space agency expressed their concerns “with the potential for a significant increase in the frequency of conjunction events” as well as the potential impacts towards the science and human spaceflight missions by NASA.

As of the moment, SpaceX is still hoping for quick approval from the FCC for its 30,000 satellite constellations aiming to launch the “first satellites as soon as next month.”

Related Article: Elon Musk is Now a Member of the National Academy of Engineering for His SpaceX Designs-What’s the Role?

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by Urian B.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Don’t Miss

© 2022 Tech Times LLC. All rights reserved.