According tomedia reports, the new corona virus pandemic affected almost all conceivable industries, commercial space industry is no exception. Still, SpaceX is doing everything it can to launch on time, which means it wants to make sure that as many Starlink satellites as possible are launched into space. The company’s next Starlink launch is expected to take place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as early as April 16.
Starlink is one of SpaceX’s big bets on the future. This is a communications satellite network that, once completed, will provide high-speed data access to the most remote parts of the planet. To achieve this dream, however, SpaceX needs to launch a large number of satellites.
What exactly is a lot? At least thousands or even tens of thousands. So far, the company has launched hundreds, but its planned final deployment is about 12,000. If all goes well, SpaceX could put as many as 42,000 satellites into orbit. It’s definitely a huge project, with thousands of satellites being launched into space in batches, which means Starlink will take years to demonstrate its true capabilities.
Yet the ambitious project has caused considerable anger throughout the astronomy community. Although “Starlink” satellites are small, they are not invisible, especially when observed through high-energy telescopes. This means that they can easily interfere with the observation of astronomers on the ground. Some researchers have even posted pictures showing the dire impact on space exploration.
The outlook is not good for SpaceX, but the company has pledged to work on the issue. One of the solutions it currently proposes is to coat the satellite with a black coating or other material that does not reflect. It is unclear whether the satellites, launched on April 16, are any different from the past.