SpaceX announces that 100 Starlink satellites in operation will voluntarily enter the atmosphere and dispose of them

On February 12, 2024, SpaceX announced a plan to remove 100 of its Starlink satellites from orbit, enter the atmosphere, and dispose of them due to concerns about failures in orbit.

Commitment to Space Sustainability
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SpaceX takes a proactive step toward responsible behavior in orbit | Ars Technica

SpaceX Will Deorbit 100 Starlink Satellites For Safety Reasons - Payload

SpaceX has more than 5,000 artificial satellites in orbit around the Earth at the time of article creation to provide the satellite internet service ``Starlink''. Meanwhile, SpaceX has deorbited 406 satellites so far, most of which have already entered the Earth's atmosphere and burned up. In addition, the 17 satellites that became uncontrollable are also being monitored by SpaceX, and are expected to enter the atmosphere in the future.

Furthermore, on February 12, 2024, SpaceX announced that about 100 of the first Starlink satellites launched at the time of article creation will be taken out of orbit. In addition, SpaceX has made it clear that it will sequentially report the position information of the deorbited satellite to other satellite operators and assume full responsibility for the operation of the satellite if there is a risk of collision.

SpaceX says the reason for deorbiting an operational satellite is ``to give the owners and operators of all satellites in orbit a sense of security by deorbiting the satellite before it becomes uncontrollable.'' states.


Official SpaceX Photos

Moriba Jha, co-founder and chief scientist at space company Privateer , said: 'Ensuring the safety and accessibility of space is essential for all satellite stakeholders, and SpaceX's deorbiting of satellites 'This proactive effort to share location information with SpaceX is an important step in mitigating the risks associated with space debris ,' he said, praising SpaceX's efforts.

On the other hand, Jha said, ``While de-orbiting a satellite and disposing of it by entering the atmosphere may seem like an excellent way to reduce the risk of space debris, such an action is 'We cannot overlook the long-term impact that this will have on the sustainability of space exploration and the Earth's atmosphere.' Mr. Jha said, ``As a long-term path to a circular space economy, it is important to develop and employ reusable and recyclable satellites.''

In the United States, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recommends that satellites be repaired in space in order to extend their useful life. In addition, the European Space Agency (ESA) is proposing a ' Zero Debris Charter ' to promote the technological development necessary to eliminate new space debris in orbit by 2030.

by Official SpaceX Photos

SpaceX said, ``Although it comes at the cost of losing a satellite that is providing satellite internet services to users, we believe it is the right thing to do to keep space a safe and sustainable environment.'' ”.

According to SpaceX, it will take about six months for the satellite to leave its orbit and enter the atmosphere.

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