SpaceX is continuing to assume its role in space exploration, and it’s expected even to improve a lot in the near future. With the ultimate goal of colonizing our neighboring planet Mars, SpaceX also gets involved in other ways.
Elon Musk’s space agency just launched its third bundle of internet satellites, and you might have already guessed the reason: to provide internet access to more remote regions throughout the world.
60 new satellites
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted up the 60 satellites into space on Monday, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (Florida). They will even be visible for the naked eye, and various websites are even offering instant tracking.
The satellites will be visible due to the low altitude they will be operating at, at least for a while: 340 miles. The SpaceX representatives wrote the following:
Once the satellites reach their operational altitude of 550 km and begin on-station service, their orientation changes and the satellites become significantly less visible from the ground,
There is a dark side
While most people are happy that internet will become available to even more regions of the planet, SpaceX’s ‘Starlink constellation’ does give us some reasons to worry. Considering that the space agency is expected to launch 12,000 satellites until 2025, some astronomers believe that the night sky will become too crowded and thus the possibilities of exploring space will become significantly reduced.
However, there is still hope in this case, and Prof Martin Barstow explains why in a very logical manner:
The numbers of satellites do sound frightening, but actually space is big – so when you superimpose them all on the sky, the density of these things is not going to be very large,
And because the satellites have known positions, you can mitigate. A satellite is going to be a dot in an image and it might appear as a transient burst of light – but you will know about it and can remove it from the image.