One of the negative consequences of the discovery and use of the universe is the creation of cosmic garbage. Just as people behave towards the Earth, they also do in the interstellar space. The space environment that fills waste is for a long time a sad reality.
SpaceX has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change the license for more than 1500 Starlink satellites. SpaxeX wants to place them 600 kilometers lower than originally requested.
The reason is excessive – the safety of space. SpaceX says that this change will make it much easier to get rid of satellites in case of malfunction or end of their activity. At the same time, this change explains why two test asteroid satellites were placed in orbit at lower altitudes than was planned.
The FCC approved the SpaceX license in March 2018 for the first phase of the Starlink project. It plans to release 12,000 satellites to provide Internet coverage in the final plan. In the original application, SpeceX FCC has requested permission to launch 4,425 satellites on track orbit at 1,111 to 1,325 km. In his request for change, he now wants to reduce the track of 1,554 satellites from 1,100 kilometers to 550 kilometers.
LookSpaceX does not harm the Internet. They release the first satellites
A lower altitude makes it easier to remove these satellites as soon as they are destroyed, broken or stopped. At this height there is a stronger influence of the Earth's atmosphere. Its particles interact more with the satellites, pushing it out of the orbit and down the road, causing them to worsen. Another advantage of such satellites is that they will need much less.
To ensure that the satellites are out of the track, it is even more important that Starlink plans to place them a few thousand. Such a large network can increase the risk of conflict. According to a recent study NASA up to 99% of the satellites should be reliably removed from the track within five years of their placement on it.
In February, SpaceX launched a pair of TinTin A and TinTin B test satellites. Their job was to test technologies to secure the Internet from the Earth. They planned to release them at a distance of 511 kilometers and then control all systems, they would have to move with airplane nozzles up to 1255 kilometers. This action should take six months. Finally, however, the satellites did not leave a height of 500 km.
SpaceX decided to change the plan based on what it learned from TinTin's operation. "Low-altitude operation offers many attractive features during both the nominal and unplanned scenarios," the company said in her statement. It will further simplify the construction of the spacecraft and reduce the signal delay to just 15 milliseconds "It was almost unrecognizable to almost all users" SpaceX said.
SpaceX recognizes that the lower trajectory is not exactly the same. As the atmosphere is denser at this altitude, the satellite must make greater efforts to stay on track and not start falling on Earth prematurely.
The FCC has not yet approved SpaceX, but the Commission's statement can be made this month. SpaceX said it wanted to release its first Starlink series in 2019. If it wishes to comply with the FCC license, it must release at least half of the 4 425 satellites over the course of six years.
The vision of the whole Earth is becoming clearer. Perhaps for some years, the Internet will be available almost anywhere, and today we will be remembered with admiration – how could we have without its global availability?