Elon Musk, The billionaire behind companies like Tesla and SpaceX known for his futuristic plans. In October 2019 he took a step towards the telecommunication industry by claiming permission to launch 30,000 satellites into earth orbit, This is part of Elon Musk’s Starlink mega constellation, that may bring the world with very high-speed internet in any corner of the world. So let us know what exactly is Starlink? And what it could do to earth?
What is Starlink?
Nearly 41% of the world population doesn’t have access to the internet, Due to most internet options require costly underground cables leaving rural areas losing access to the internet, Another option is through satellite, Traditional satellite internet is provided by a bus-size spacecraft launched about 22,236 miles (35777 Km) above earth surface leading to cause lags and poor connection because millions of people are connected to the same satellite.
Here’s where Elon Musk’s Starlink comes into play, Starlink is a constellation of satellites containing 42,000 of them orbiting in the lower earth orbit at a constant speed that could bring the world with a high-speed internet connection at every corner of the world.
The idea came up in Elon musk because the telecommunication industry is worth trillion dollars a year. If Elon and SpaceX could pull this off in this industry the net worth would of 30 to 50 billion dollars a year helping them to provide funds for future missions like star trek. As of early October 2020, SpaceX has launched over 700 satellites and planning to launch 12,000 over the next five years.
How Starlink works?
The satellites of the Starlink constellation would be about 200 to 400 (321 to 643 Km) above piles of the earth’s surface, this would decrease the time of connectivity cause due to distance. The satellites would connect themselves via laser beam making a round-shaped web above the earth. To access the internet service at home you would require a pizza size antenna, this antenna when aimed overhead towards satellite would maintain the internet signal and provide with you a better service.
Problems with Starlink –
With all these step towards reforming the internet service, Starlink could also create problems. let us what problems it can create!
Starlink can create problems for Astronomers
Satellites of Starlink are so bright that they appear a star from the earth. Due to their brightness, they are most visible in the night sky before dawn and after dusk when most of the astronomers are hunting of astronomical objects like asteroids and comets which wouldn’t be possible due to bright moving satellites orbiting very close to the earth. To solve this problem SpaceX came up with something called a dark sat. Which are satellites having a black coating on it, Decreasing the brightness of satellites significantly.
Starlink can create problems for Space Debris
As per Starlink’s mission, they would be launching 42,000 satellites into an orbit which would increase the chances of collision between satellites causing huge space debris to revolve around the earth for a year or even a century. SpaceX claimed that satellites are built in such a way that one would move out the way of their avoiding Collisions. This doesn’t sound promising because dozens of satellites have been disabled since launch which causing a potential threat. After these collisions observed by FCC(Federal Communication Commission), they have strictly regulated low-earth orbit.
Restricting Rocket Launch in Space
By launching a huge amount of satellites into space, Starlink would be restricting the launch of other Satellites into space, As Starlink satellites are moving any of these satellites could come in between the launched rocket causing a crash between them and eventually ruining future space missions.
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