SpaceX’s cluster of SmallSats reduce the clarity of astronomical observations

Everybody on Earth appreciates a serene night sky that is clear for making observations. Nothing compares to a person’s satisfaction that comes from viewing stars in clear night skies while enjoying marvelous spectacle. Several renowned icons spearheaded human discovery, such as Galileo, Columbus, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, and Shakespeare, observed stars that are identical to the stars seen by modern people. Observations of stars and other space bodies during peaceful night skies are part of humankind’s heritage, passed down from one generation to another. 

Unfortunately, these night skies’ natural serenity and clarity are short-lived because Elon Musk’s SpaceX inaugurated its constellation of more than 60 SmallSats for the company’s broadband internet connectivity program. A single SpaceX launch vehicle carried all the miniature satellites during the space mission launch in May 2019. Elon Musk said that SpaceX’s launch is among the several launches to establish a massive constellation of broadband communications satellites. The space company’s space satellite mission roll-out plans to develop a robust network that provides Earth with access to ultra-high-speed Internet. There is an increasing market demand for reliable and high-speed internet connectivity for companies and state governments. 

Marco Langbroek, a tracker for satellites and Netherlands space enthusiasts, recorded the satellites passing through the sky; the video shocked him. Marco’s blog post explained how the observation started with recording two objects with Dime flashes passing the telescope’s field of view. A few moments later, Marco recorded the jaw-dropping space observation of the mega constellation of satellites in the area of interest. Marco uploaded the astonishing discovery recorded as SpaceX inaugurated the cluster of miniature satellites. 

Following SpaceX’s successful satellite launch mission, the company schedules more inaugurations of Starlink satellites to develop a well-established satellite communication network. SpaceX’s vision is to become the pioneer provider of Earth’s internet services by offering high-speed web connections. 

Despite the satellites’ obstructions, the satellite train is a glorious scenery to experience when the SmallSats travel through a field of view. Experts warn that the increasing amount of space debris and clusters of satellites impacts humanity’s interactions with clear night skies. When left unattended, the problem obscures many people from experiencing the serenity and clarity for observing night skies. Humanity will observe many human-made objects traveling haphazardly across fields of view instead of magnificent stars and space bodies. 

In summary, several researchers and corporations continue to advocate for reducing launch missions delivering satellite constellation into Earth’s lower orbit. Otherwise, the problem remains unsolved because space junk continues to build up. Most experts consider the massive constellations of broadband satellites more destructive rather than constructive. 


By Andrew Davis

Andrew is a young communications professional with disciplined training and apt exposure. He has been a voice for a number of media houses in the country and overseas. Travel, Technology, Consumer, Real Estate and Healthcare have been his main areas of practice using conventional messaging with effective digital strategies.
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