Geomagnetic storm wipes out batch of newly launched Starlink satellites

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,127   +154
Staff member
What just happened? SpaceX last week launched 49 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A day later, a geomagnetic storm forced most of them out of commission. Some might call it a case of bad timing. Others might deem it karma.

SpaceX said it deploys satellites into a lower orbit so that in the rare case that something goes wrong, they will be deorbited by atmospheric drag. The storm last Friday heated up the atmosphere, causing atmospheric drag to increase as much as 50 percent compared to previous launches.

The Starlink team attempted to ride out the storm by putting the satellites into a safe mode where they would “fly edge-on (like a sheet of paper) to minimize drag.” The increased drag, however, prevented most of the satellites from being able to leave safe move and commence orbit raising maneuvers.

As a result, as many as 40 satellites will either soon reenter Earth’s atmosphere or already have.

SpaceX said the deorbiting satellites pose no risk to those on Earth, as they completely burn up upon reentry into the atmosphere.

A group of researchers last month said Starlink satellites were impacting ground-based astronomy, and that the issue was only going to get worse over time. In 2019, less than 0.5 percent of photos were impacted by Starlink satellites. By August 2021, nearly one out of every five photos examined were polluted by the satellites.

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psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,770
Musk and those like him are quickly becoming the architects of future dystopia. Do we really want to be connected at all times, everywhere? Even if someone likes the idea is the night sky really a price their willing to pay, and why don't the rest of us get a say in it?
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,752   +7,668
You know, as brilliant as he claims to be you would think that he would have researched and protected those units from something as simple as this ... or maybe it was greed and he thought he was "blessed" and wouldn't be affected ....... another case of the dumb leading the dumber ....
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,149   +2,652
Yeah, but to "an alien" thinking about invading Earth, when their radar picks up all the JUNK floating in space around our planet, they will think "uh oh! We better stay away from that planet! Look at their protective energy shield!" LOL
 

mgwerner

Posts: 170   +240
You know, as brilliant as he claims to be you would think that he would have researched and protected those units from something as simple as this ... or maybe it was greed and he thought he was "blessed" and wouldn't be affected ....... another case of the dumb leading the dumber ....
They are protected from such events, one on their established orbit. This instance they had not yet achieved operational altitude, which takes some time after launch, and this occurrence was the next day.

Guess this means my March start of service will be delayed.
 

letsgoiowa

Posts: 67   +123
I'm not sure why people are so furious about the idea of people suddenly being able to have internet access around the world. This is a much more responsible model than existing satellites, and nobody got really upset about those. It makes me wonder if some of this rage is funded by competitors or just because it's Elon.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,360   +5,586
I'm not sure why people are so furious about the idea of people suddenly being able to have internet access around the world. This is a much more responsible model than existing satellites, and nobody got really upset about those. It makes me wonder if some of this rage is funded by competitors or just because it's Elon.
You know, it might be because we've seen internet acces being used repeatedly to take away the right sof the consumer, spy on you, and generally invade your life. Which Psycros said.

Not everything needs the internet.
 

letsgoiowa

Posts: 67   +123
You know, it might be because we've seen internet acces being used repeatedly to take away the right sof the consumer, spy on you, and generally invade your life. Which Psycros said.

Not everything needs the internet.
That's very much not your right to decide to take it away from people who have no other option. If people don't want internet access, they can simply not connect to it. The internet is responsible for not just connecting people to the rest of the world, but it is completely life changing and brings opportunities unlike any other. Poor, rural areas are the ones that benefit the most from this. How many stories have you heard about kids who learned how to do xyz from the Internet and did incredible things? I know a few dozen of them personally.
 

mgwerner

Posts: 170   +240
You know, it might be because we've seen internet acces being used repeatedly to take away the right sof the consumer, spy on you, and generally invade your life. Which Psycros said.

Not everything needs the internet.
Well, the overwhelming majority of the spying is allowed by the users, who like sheep, agree to whatever conditions listed in the fine print they never ready in order to get access to more garbage.

Having lived in the 3rd world for much of my career, the benefit of rapid immediate communication with customers, raw material providers, search and rescue, etc. is something most of the 1st world takes for granted. While everything does not NEED to be on the internet, some things that we have that the rest of the world does not indeed does NEED to be there. And those people, if they can afford it, should get the same access we do.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,694   +6,633
You know, as brilliant as he claims to be you would think that he would have researched and protected those units from something as simple as this ... or maybe it was greed and he thought he was "blessed" and wouldn't be affected ....... another case of the dumb leading the dumber ....
Yes, Musky is a stable genius. 🤣
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,694   +6,633
I'm not sure why people are so furious about the idea of people suddenly being able to have internet access around the world. This is a much more responsible model than existing satellites, and nobody got really upset about those. It makes me wonder if some of this rage is funded by competitors or just because it's Elon.
I would not say that it is people furious about improved internet accessibility. Its more, where Starlink is concerned, the case of what are we giving up in terms of the science that it interferes with, and, IMO, in that respect, it is a far less responsible model. Note that painting the satellites black will only remedy the problem for Visible astronomy. For infrared astronomy, the problem will still exist.

I've seen those touting, too, how it will bring internet access to everyone; however, with the cost of a base station and the monthly charge, it will eliminate those who are unable to afford it. In another thread on the subject, one post referenced how they share internet access among neighbors. I have to wonder what Musky and Starlink will do about that? Will it be allowed? Will they charge even more for it?

Time will tell whether Musky really wants to bring internet to everyone, or just line his pockets, and SpaceX's, with more money than they arguably need.

EDIT:
And those people, if they can afford it, should get the same access we do.
And for some, the "if they can afford it" part is something that they may find insurmountable.
 
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bandit8623

Posts: 383   +212
That's very much not your right to decide to take it away from people who have no other option. If people don't want internet access, they can simply not connect to it. The internet is responsible for not just connecting people to the rest of the world, but it is completely life changing and brings opportunities unlike any other. Poor, rural areas are the ones that benefit the most from this. How many stories have you heard about kids who learned how to do xyz from the Internet and did incredible things? I know a few dozen of them personally.
just like the covid vaccine. its there to take if you think you need it, but for most its not needed and for sure should be a choice. also shouldn't lose a job over it
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,732   +7,671
Yeah, but to "an alien" thinking about invading Earth, when their radar picks up all the JUNK floating in space around our planet, they will think "uh oh! We better stay away from that planet! Look at their protective energy shield!" LOL
I'm sure if they've mastered FTL travel, they'll be able to blast Musk's space junk out of the way with their phasers, or disrupters, or whatever the hell they have for weapons.

Then, they'll come down and join us for dinner.....with us as the main course. :eek: ...No doubt with a great deal of belching, farting, and complaining about, "Homo stupidiensis for Dinner again, Martha"?
 
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koblongata

Posts: 517   +282
Stick you thumb out, maybe Musk will let you catch a ride with him.
Well that's like decades away before a astronomer colony will happen on the moon or mars. But it is the way to go for sure, atmosphere itself has enough distortions and noises. And linking humans together is more important on Earth.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,159   +860
Musk and those like him are quickly becoming the architects of future dystopia. Do we really want to be connected at all times, everywhere? Even if someone likes the idea is the night sky really a price their willing to pay, and why don't the rest of us get a say in it?

So then just go ahead, turn your phone off and you are not connected. I don't get this logic. If I have a phone on me, I want to be connected.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,159   +860
You know, as brilliant as he claims to be you would think that he would have researched and protected those units from something as simple as this ... or maybe it was greed and he thought he was "blessed" and wouldn't be affected ....... another case of the dumb leading the dumber ....

I know right, Elon such dumb, much greed.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,694   +6,633
So then just go ahead, turn your phone off and you are not connected. I don't get this logic. If I have a phone on me, I want to be connected.
Maybe you represent the majority of "smart phone" users, but not everyone. I have access to computers everywhere, and I have no desire to have a data plan on my smart phone. Why would I when free WiFi hot spots are everywhere?