SpaceX will shoot down 100 Starlink satellites to ‘keep space safe’ – should customers worry?

Elon Muskthe rocket manufacturing company, SpaceXannounced Monday its decision to begin a controlled descent of about 100 Starlink satellites, citing a problem that could potentially lead to future failures.

What happened: According to a statement released by the company, while the current batch of satellites are operational, a discovered issue raises concerns about their future reliability.

As a precautionary measure, SpaceX intends to perform a gradual, controlled descent of approximately 100 of these satellites over the coming weeks and months. The deorbit process is expected to take around six months for most of the affected satellites.

SpaceX revealed that it has already conducted controlled deorbits for 406 satellites of the nearly 6,000 Starlink satellites launched into low Earth orbit. Currently, 17 satellites are not maneuverable, while 95% of the satellites have completed the deorbiting process. The 17 passive decay satellites are carefully monitored to minimize potential collisions with other satellites.

Because matter: Despite the reduction in the number of satellites in orbit, SpaceX has reassured that the operational efficiency of Starlink services will remain unchanged. The company highlighted its production capacity of 55 Starlink satellites per week and ability to launch over 200 satellites per month to offset any potential disruption.

In January alone, SpaceX executed seven Starlink missions, deploying more than 150 Starlink satellites into space.

“While this proactive approach comes at the cost of losing satellites that serve users effectively, we believe it is the right thing to do to keep space safe and sustainable,” the company said in a statement, adding that it encourages everyone satellite owners and operators to safely deorbit satellites before they become unmaneuverable, in the interests of space safety and sustainability.

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