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  SpaceX Starlink satellites and orbital clutter

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Author Topic:   SpaceX Starlink satellites and orbital clutter
SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 4985
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-28-2021 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
China filed a complaint to the United Nations, saying Chinese astronauts aboard the country's space station had to take emergency action earlier this year to avoid colliding with Starlink satellites launched by SpaceX, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The two Starlink satellites came close to the space station in July and October, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday in Beijing. At the time, Chinese astronauts were conducting missions on the station, which had to adopt emergency measures to avoid collisions, he said.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 47659
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-28-2021 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can read the submitted complaint here.
Notification by China under Article V of the Outer Space Treaty concerning preventive collision avoidance between the China Space Station (international designation 2021-035A) and United States' Starlink-1095 (international designation 2020-001BK) and Starlink-2305 (international designation 2021-024N) satellites.

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 4985
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-28-2021 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The GEOCHRON absent the majority of Starlink tracks (save those launched last 30 days):

With all 2000 plus (and counting):

Getting crowded and a might challenging to schedule launch windows through all that traffic!

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 4985
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-31-2021 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elon Musk says there is room for "tens of billions" of satellites, reports Business Insider.
Elon Musk has pushed back on claims from the European Space Agency that SpaceX was blocking out rivals in space, saying there was room for "tens of billions" of satellites in orbit.

In an interview with The Financial Times, the CEO likened the number of satellites flying in low Earth orbit (LEO) to having two billion cars and trucks on Earth.

Given that orbital "shells" are bigger than the Earth's surface, "that would imply room for tens of billions of satellites," Musk told the FT.

"A couple of thousand satellites is nothing. It's like, hey, here's a couple of thousand of cars on Earth — it's nothing," he added.

Aeropix
Member

Posts: 57
From: Houston
Registered: Apr 2010

posted 01-03-2022 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aeropix   Click Here to Email Aeropix     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, I think the Boeing 737-MAX crashes should teach us not to let the manufacturer "self-regulate". I like Elon and think he's a genius, but you still have to question how his commercial motivations may cloud his judgement over this topic.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 47659
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-04-2022 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A new, independent analysis of the Starlink constellation has found it poses no more a risk to China's space station than other items in orbit.
...the two reported Starlink conjunctions represent only a small fraction of the total expected close approaches that Tiangong would have experienced during a one-year period - just 2.4% [100 x (2 maneuvers attributed to Starlink per year) / (83.7 total avoidance maneuvers per year)].

...Starlink only accounts for about 7% of all conjunctions within 5 km, and 17% of all Tiangong encounters with active spacecraft. Debris is identified as the dominant source of close approaches; debris fragments generated by China's own ASAT test in 2007 and the recent Russian ASAT test contribute to this debris risk.

All times are CT (US)

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