Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 17 February 2024

SpaceX Will Voluntarily Bring Down (A Handful) of Potentially Problematic Starlink Broadband Satellites (But it’s not what it seems)

Clearing one’s orbit —

SpaceX takes a proactive step toward responsible behavior in orbit

“We commend this commitment as a first step.”

Eric Berger

SpaceX announced this week that it will voluntarily bring down about 100 of its first-generation Starlink satellites, which provide broadband Internet from low-Earth orbit, as part of its commitment to “space sustainability.”

The satellites are presently operational and serving Internet customers. However, in a statement, the company said, “The Starlink team identified a common issue in this small population of satellites that could increase the probability of failure in the future.”

This only represents a small fraction of the Starlink megaconstellation, which SpaceX has been launching on Falcon 9 rockets over the last half-decade. To date, SpaceX has put nearly 6,000 satellites into orbit a few hundred kilometers above the planet. This rapid growth in the company’s constellation has raised widespread concerns about the cluttering of low-Earth orbit and the potential for a profusion of debris.

Previously, SpaceX has initiated controlled de-orbits of 406 satellites. The vast majority of these have already entered Earth’s atmosphere and burnt up. However, 17 have become non-maneuverable. These are in decaying orbits and will eventually burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. Until such time they are being tracked to prevent collisions with other satellites.

In its announcement this week, SpaceX is saying it will bring down about 100 additional Starlink satellites.

Why is SpaceX doing this?

The company said it is being proactive in deciding to bring down satellites that are currently operational.

“While this proactive approach comes at the cost of losing satellites that are serving users effectively, we believe it is the right thing to do to keep space safe and sustainable—SpaceX encourages all satellite owners and operators to safely de-orbit satellites before they become non-maneuverable,” the statement said.

If nothing else, this is a clever public relations move to get out ahead of satellite de-orbits that the space-tracking community would have spotted eventually. SpaceX is controlling the narrative, and it seems to have worked. The release of this information has, based upon several people I have spoken with, engendered good will in the community of scientists and activists who worry about orbital debris, clutter, and the sustainability of activity in low-Earth orbit.

However, there appears to be more to this announcement than simple public relations. SpaceX operates nearly two-thirds of all the active satellites in low-Earth orbit, and it is taking responsibility upon itself to reduce the likelihood of uncontrolled satellites whizzing around the planet hundreds of kilometers above the surface.

Read More: SpaceX Will Voluntarily Bring Down Potentially Problematic Starlink Broadband Satellites

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