SpaceX starts launching Starlink satellites for global internet system

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This video shows a spectacular view of the SpaceX Starlink satellite train

"It changes how the night sky looks", astronomer Ronald Drimmel from the Turin Astrophysical Observatory in Italy said in a new report by Forbes.

"Starlink, and other mega constellations, would ruin the sky for everyone on the planet".

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, Elon Musk says SpaceX is aware of the situation and the anger being portrayed by astronomers, but his company is looking at ways to reduce the light pollution.

The priority, according to SpaceX, is "reaching those who are not yet connected" to provide "reliable and affordable broadband internet services".

However, astronomers are warning the satellites, which will be positioned in orbit around the equator, could obstruct their view of the universe. Astronomer Marco Langbroek noted on his blog a calculation of where the satellites would be orbiting. SpaceX is planning between three and seven Starlink launches this year with each rocket carrying 60 satellites in the hopes of getting approximately a thousand into orbit to begin providing low-priced internet access.

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SpaceX has confirmed that the 60 satellites have been successfully launched from Florida and deployed in orbit at 550 kilometres from Earth. He went on to assure that SpaceX could tweak the solar reflection if a critical astronomical experiment is taking place. He claimed in another tweet that the satellites "won't be seen by anyone unless looking very carefully".

Musk spoke about the greater good that his satellites will be accomplishing by providing internet access to billions of people. Within a few hours it was confirmed that telemetry had been received from each of the satellites.

The Indian Express explains that the Starlink network will use a total 12,000 low-orbit satellites that move in three different orbital shells about 500 to 1,300 kilometres above the Earth.

"A worst-case scenario would be the Kessler syndrome, a positive feedback loop in which debris-generating collisions create more and more collisions, which in turn create more and more debris, rendering parts of Earth orbit essentially unusable".

The satellites are maneuvering with their ion thrusters now meaning they will spread out more and more with each pass meaning the train of satellites will dissipate as the satellites orbit.

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