SpaceX recently launched 60 satellites into the orbit to build a broadband internet business around the globe. The satellites appeared in the sky in the form of a string of lights in the night from east to west. These lights were reported from Foxton in Manawatu in Auckland to Waitakere Ranges. This lets the people speculating that they were unidentified flying objects (UFOs). However, it was later turned out to be the satellites launched by the company of Elon Musk. The launch was fourth in the series of Starlink satellites. Starlink project would be a constellation of thousands of small satellites launched by SpaceX to build a broadband internet business. These satellites will work with ground transceivers to provide broadband services.
In this bid, the company has launched 240 satellites so far. However, the initial constellation is expected to have 12,000 satellites and the number would eventually go up to 42,000. But SpaceX’s plans to launch such a large number of satellites have raised some serious concerns from sky gazers and astronomers. They claim that such a large number of satellites will ruin the night sky. The numbers of stars that are visible in the night sky are 9000, far less than proposed SpaceX’s satellites. These satellites become brighter than stars when they reflect sunlight. Moreover, they create trails during their rapid movement and create interference with the work of astronomers. Otago Museum director Ian Griffin termed it a ‘night sky emergency’ in a tweet.
SpaceX is not the only company to blame for it as OneWeb, Amazon, and others are also planning to launch satellites to provide broadband net services across the globe. Recently, OneWeb and SpaceX met with astronomers to talk about the impact their plans could have. The meeting, held at the Royal Astronomical Society, was described as ‘positive’. The absence of an agreed framework on the satellite industry is making things a bit more problematic. There are so many defunct spacecrafts in the space and it has been advised to pull them within 25 years to avoid collisions.