Elon Musk’s space exploration technologies corporation, SpaceX, said no debris is predicted to hit the bottom as 40 satellites are re-entering or already entered the Earth’s atmosphere. There’s no risk of collision with other satellites, the company said.
The 49 satellites were launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on February 3 and were placed in initial orbit, closer to Earth. the company said it placed the satellites in a close-by orbit to hold out final checks before flying them into space. Around 40 of them were struck and destroyed by a geomagnetic storm on Feb 4.
A geomagnetic storm is a space weather event, caused by ejections of the solar corona into space, resulting in disturbances in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and increased drag on objects in low orbits.
As the geomagnetic storm struck the satellites, the Starlink team moved to action and brought the satellites into a secure mode but 40 of them were unable to boost their orbits. The company said there’s “zero collision risk” with other satellites as they are re-entering or already entered Earth’s atmosphere. No debris is anticipated to hit the bottom.
Elon Musk’s ambitious project conceived to provide low-latency broadband Internet connectivity to remote areas around the globe through a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit suffered an upscale blow recently, but there’s little SpaceX could do about it.
According to SpaceX, the storm caused “up to 50% higher drag than during previous launches,” which prevented the deployed satellites from reaching their proper orbit around the Earth. there was the statement that came from SpaceX saying that Starlink tried to fly these satellites “edge-on (like a sheet of paper)” to confirm there’s a touch drag as possible but it’s now increasingly looking like “up to 40 of the satellites will reenter or have already got reentered the Earth’s atmosphere” rather than reaching their destinations.
The Musk-owned aerospace firm, however, stated that there appeared “zero collision risk” of those satellites with others. It also said its satellites would “demise upon atmospheric re-entry,” meaning no debris is going to be created and no satellite parts would hit Earth.
Solar storms are capable of hitting operations of space-dependent services like global positioning systems (GPS), radio, and satellite communications.
Geomagnetic storms may interfere with high-frequency radio communications and GPS navigation systems. Aircraft flights, power grids and space exploration programs are vulnerable at this point. CMEs, with projectiles loaded with matter travelling at several miles an hour, can potentially create disturbances within the magnetosphere, the protective shield surrounding the world.
Astronauts on spacewalks face health risks from possible exposure to radiation outside the Earth’s protective atmosphere. Solar physicists and other scientists use computer models to predict solar storms and solar activities normally. The phenomenon of Feb 1-2 knocked out Starlink’s satellites as was predicted on January 29.
With the increasing global dependence on satellites for pretty much every activity, there’s a requirement for better space weather forecasts and more practical ways to guard satellites.