NASA is not very convinced of the ambitious plans that Elon Musk has for the satellite internet of his company Starlink. In fact, the government agency is quite concerned.
SpaceX had been authorized to launch a network of twelve thousand satellites into orbit. However, this seems not to be enough for the tycoon, who has now requested authorization to send 30,000 satellites into space.
Of course, this has not gone down well with NASA, where they have been concerned with “the potential for a significant increase in the frequency of conjunction events and possible impacts on NASA’s science and human spaceflight missions.” .
In a report sent to the Federal Communications Commission, the agency warns about the risks that the increase in this satellite network could mean.
NASA explains that there are already about 25,000 objects in orbit that are being monitored and another 6,100 that are below 600 km in height.
According to the organization, with this new constellation “we would more than double the number of monitored objects in orbit and the number of objects below 600 km would be multiplied by five”.
Experts have also assured that this number of satellites could affect astronomical observations.
Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, who is part of a special committee that was set up to look into this problem, noted that “we still need to have some more experience with the several thousand satellites before we can increase them to tens of thousands.”
Right now, Starlink has 1,469 satellites in orbit, while another 272 should be operational soon.