SpaceX has begun for quite a while to lift into orbit Starlink satellites, with the purpose of providing high-performance broadband internet for remote regions from the world. In January, the space agency launched 60 satellites into orbit, and last Sunday it was preparing to launch another cargo of satellites. But one unpredicted moment ruined it all.
SpaceX aborted the launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the last second before liftoff because of the occurrence of an engine problem.
It’s harder as it seems
Michael Andrews, the supervisor, gives us an idea about how difficult it is to make a successful launch:
There are a thousand ways a launch can go wrong and only one way it can go right,
Given that, we are overly cautious on the ground, and if the team or the vehicle sees anything even slightly off, we’ll stop the countdown.
Funny enough, the mission was stopped even after the countdown and the “liftoff!” command. And no, this time it’s not the coronavirus’s fault. The launch hasn’t been rescheduled.
There could be a downside
While most people are happy about the idea of more remote regions of the world enjoying the wonderful benefits of the internet, there is one hypothetical grim scenario. While SpaceX is expected to launch 12,000 satellites into orbit by 2025, some astronomers are worrying that the night sky will become too crowded and thus the possibility of exploring space will become significantly reduced.
However, the hypothesis sounds unrealistic. The night sky is huge, and a Starlink satellite will appear as a tiny dot of light. Whatever the truth may be, we will find out for sure in several years. SpaceX has to keep going with the good work, and Elon Musk has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about humanity colonizing Mars one day.