In the last three months, SpaceX added over 200 satellites to its StarlLink constellation, with hundreds more planned this year, eventually growing to over 40,000
OneWeb, BlueOrigin and other spacefaring nations are building similar, and even larger orbital networks.
As more objects come online, potential collisions become more likely, which could create a mega-constellation of catastrophic, impenetrable space debris, blocking rockets from leaving Earth. An effect known as the “Kessler syndrome”.
Without a global satellite traffic system in place, the only thing preventing a collision is an automated email. (You’ve got mail – check your spam folder)
An issue affecting all areas of commerce.
Recently, a Direct TV Spaceway-1 Satellite suffered a crippling battery malfunction that could disintegrate the craft, forcing it away from its geosynchronous arc, into the “orbital graveyard” – 300 kilometers above active satellites.
And just last week, there was a near-miss over Pittsburgh…tracked by LeoLabs
Some satellites aren’t so lucky. Russia’s Kosmos-2491, allegedly designed to inspect and destroy enemy spacecraft, may have disintegrated in an orbital collision event. So far the Kremlin has not commented on the incident.
As our orbiting economy continues to expand, it’s becoming a troubling trend for astronomers
In November, StarLink satellites were accused of “photo-bombing” an outburst of Alpha Monocerotid meteors. Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said the event, was a real eye opener. Bill Cooke, – space weather