The Advantages and Dangers of Starlink's 42,000 Satellites

Elon Musk plans to bring internet connection to all the populations that lack it.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Did you know that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk plans to launch 42,000 satellites into our skies? What might they be used for? To bring internet connection to all the populations that lack it. That's quite a democratic-worthy goal.

But the satellites do come with many potential dangers. For one, Musk’s satellites may exacerbate light pollution by filling the night sky with reflections even if they don't themselves produce light. 

Considering that they will be in very high numbers, this could deter all astronomers from doing their crucial work and may even hamper their ability to detect hazardous asteroids. To fix this issue, Starlink has been working on new designs that result in less reflection, such as the “DarkSat” satellite with a non-reflective coating and the “VisorSat” satellite equipped with a special sunshade visor. 

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There's also the issue that if Musk’s satellites are damaged, they could contribute to the growing and hazardous problem of space debris. To address this potential issue, Starlink satellites are all designed to deorbit naturally or burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. Does this make the satellites safe enough to be in orbit? Time will tell but we wish Musk good luck with his internet plans!


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