NASA worried about Starlink Gen2 deployment — Analysis
NASA expressed concern regarding SpaceX’s plan to deploy more satellites for its Starlink Gen2 project, in a letter submitted on Monday to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) submitted Monday, NASA expressed concern about SpaceX’s plan to launch more satellites for its Starlink Gen2 project. These include collisions with other spacecraft and failures of maneuvering capabilities, interference with telescopes and delays in launches.
“NASA has concerns with the potential for a significant increase in the frequency of conjunction events and possible impacts to Nasa’s science and human spaceflight missions,”The agency said.
NASA noted that there are 25,000 objects currently being tracked in the Earth’s orbit, including 6,100 objects at an altitude below 600km. Starlink expansion “would more than double the number of tracked objects in orbit and increase the number of objects below 600 km over five-fold,”According to the agency.
Other companies, such as Amazon and a broadcast company Dish Network, have separately expressed fears regarding the SpaceX satellite network’s expansion.
Amazon.com claims that it has built more than 3000 broadband satellites at a cost of $10 billion under the Kuiper System. “at least hundreds—and potentially more than ten thousand—SpaceX satellites could operate at the same altitudes as the Kuiper System.”
This interference could result in a significant impact on the satellite network of their company. The company urged FCC to intervene and take appropriate action. “reasonable conditions” for SpaceX’s project.
Last April, Elon Musk’s SpaceX received FCC authorization to deploy nearly 12,000 satellites offering broadband satellite connection for users worldwide. Amazon and other companies raised objections but the authorization was approved.
In October last year, the company requested permission to launch an additional 30,000 satellites of second generation. This application remains pending.