HomeWorld News40 Starlink Satellites Destroyed in Geomagnetic Storm

40 Starlink Satellites Destroyed in Geomagnetic Storm

40 satellites of Elon Musk’s satellite Internet service Starlink, which were launched last week, have been destroyed by a geomagnetic storm.

The escalation speed and severity of the storm caused atmospheric drag to increase up to 50 percent higher than during previous launches, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Preliminary analysis shows the increased drag at the low altitudes prevented the satellites from leaving safe-mode to begin orbit raising maneuvers, and up to 40 of the satellites will re-enter or already have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere,” SpaceX elaborated.

According to the company, the de-orbiting satellites pose “zero collision risk” with other satellites and by design demise upon atmospheric reentry — meaning no orbital debris is created and no satellite parts hit the ground.

The company launched 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida onboard a Falcon 9 rocket on February 3.

 

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