SpaceX starts launching Starlink satellites for global internet system

Muriel Hammond
June 2, 2019

Viewers described, "a weird train of stars or lights moving across the skies at constant speed".

If truth is to be told, Musk had been expecting to earn around $3 billion per annum in complete functionality from his satellite project named as Starlink, an amount seemed to be too low for such extravagant project of operating and maintaining 12,000 satellites.

The launch was tracked around the world and it soon became clear that the satellites were visible to the naked eye: a new headache for researchers who already have to find workarounds to deal with objects cluttering their images of deep space. Yet at the same time, this is placing a hurdle in the way of astronomers. Imagine brightly-lit trains moving chaotically why you're out in the Savannah to quietly observe a pack of tigers. It's just the latest innovation from Elon Musk.

The discussion about light pollution took front and center over the weekend after amateur astronomers released footage of the Starlink satellites, showing them to be much brighter than people imagined. There are many other companies that are vying for that piece of the pie.

All consist of tiny satellites that orbit closer to Earth than traditional communications satellites, a radical shift made possible by leaps in laser technology and computer chips.

"There are already 4900 satellites in orbit, which people notice ~0% of the time", Musk wrote on Twitter, in response to a question whether he anxious about the satellites adding to space debris and polluting the sky.

"This mission will push the operational capabilities of the satellites to the limit", the company said in a statement. This is an additional obstruction when observing the nightsky with sensitive instruments.

I find it interesting that the unusual sight of the satellite "train" caused a flood of UFO reports all over the Netherlands.

In addition, Musk noted that the main objective of Starlink is to help economically disadvantaged regions by providing faster internet. But he later tweeted that he had asked the Starlink team to look at ways of reducing the reflectivity of the satellites- and even suggested that he might be interested in putting a telescope into orbit.

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