How do SpaceX’s Starlink satellites work?
SpaceX’s Starlink satellites will bring cheap and fast internet connections to areas that are currently underserved. As more countries are implementing laws that make the internet a basic human right, the demand for connecting millions of people will increase too. As many places are not accessible to lay down fiber cables and other infrastructure, they are still not connected. Starlink satellites will fix this tenacious issue once and for all.Embed from Getty Images
SpaceX initially planned to launch only 12,000 satellites. However, later it sought permission to launch 30,000 satellites into space. There were rumors that eventually the company might need to launch as many as 42,000 satellites into space, causing an enormous amount of space debris. So far, SpaceX has launched about 60 micro-satellites into space. Starlink satellites may provide cheap and fast internet connections to a large number of people.
Some people are obviously not happy
There are many people who have raised concerns about SpaceX’s ambitious plans. This includes astronomers and ethicists as well.
- Alex Parker, a noted astronomer, feared that a large number of satellites in the space could block our view of stars due to light pollution.
- Space debris may increase, and cause damage to the International Space Station and other scientific objects in the space launched by different space agencies
- Space debris could also result in Kessler Syndrome. This theory proposes that a growing amount of space debris will increase satellite collisions and delay access to space for hundreds of years.
Will the satellites replace existing cables?
While it is impressive that SpaceX’s Starlink satellites can make the internet cheaper and faster, there also seem to be a number of practical problems. Light pollution is a real issue and may hinder astronomical research efforts. However, Elon Musk is a seasoned tech entrepreneur and probably knows what he is doing. We only need to wait and watch in order to see if these fancy satellites will soon replace fiber cables laid under the oceans of the world.