In a move to prioritize space safety and sustainability, SpaceX, led by visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk, has announced the commencement of a controlled descent for approximately 100 operational Starlink satellites. The decision comes in response to a recently identified issue that raises concerns about the long-term reliability of these satellites.
What Happened: SpaceX revealed that, while the current batch of Starlink satellites is functional, a potential issue has been uncovered, prompting the company to take proactive measures. The controlled descent process will be gradual and is expected to span the next six months, affecting about 100 satellites.
The company has already successfully executed controlled deorbits for 406 out of the nearly 6,000 Starlink satellites previously launched into low-Earth orbit. Currently, 17 satellites are non-maneuverable, and SpaceX is carefully monitoring them to minimize the risk of collisions with other satellites.
Why It Matters: Despite the reduction in the number of satellites, SpaceX reassures customers that the operational efficiency of Starlink’s services will remain unaffected. With a manufacturing capacity of 55 Starlink satellites per week and the ability to launch over 200 satellites monthly, the company is well-positioned to offset any potential disruptions.
Throughout January, SpaceX conducted seven Starlink missions, deploying more than 150 satellites into space. In a statement, the company emphasized its commitment to space safety and sustainability, stating that the proactive approach, though resulting in the loss of operational satellites, is essential for maintaining the safety and sustainability of outer space.
in Shorts: SpaceX’s decision to bring down 100 Starlink satellites reflects a commitment to responsible space management and ensuring the safety of orbital environments. As technology advances, companies must balance innovation with a responsibility to safeguard space for future generations.