Technology

SpaceX Expected to Lose 40 Satellites in Space Storm

If you spend any time at all around magnets you know they can’t be trusted.
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SpaceX Expected to Lose 40 Satellites in Space Storm

SpaceX expects to lose 40 of the 49 Starlink satellites they launched on Feb. 3 due to a geomagnetic storm. The satellites were successfully deployed using a Falcon 9 rocket, but the next day a magnetic collision between solar energy and the Earth's atmosphere resulted in unfriendly conditions for satellites in low Earth orbit. What does this mean for Starlink? With 10 satellites expected to complete their independent climb to their intended destination in orbit, some questions linger about the future of Starlink.

  • SpaceX has not indicated if it was aware of the storm or how much these launches cost.
  • The severity of a geomagnetic storm ranges from G1-G5. The storm in question was upgraded from G1 to G2 the day before the launch.
  • There are 1,700 G1 storms over an 11-year-long solar cycle.
  • By design, the satellites are deployed in low orbit. This allows them to launch more at once and retrieve damaged units efficiently, but makes them more vulnerable to such storms.

Ultimately, with all the facts in perspective SpaceX has taken an estimated $50 million hit, but it is a hit within the understood risks for the venture.

Telling it like it is - If you spend any time at all around magnets you know they can’t be trusted.

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