Astronomers Reject SpaceX’s Claim That “Dark Satellites” Won’t Interfere With Space Research

By B.N. Frank

Lawsuits continue to be filed against The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for not protecting the public from the telecom industry (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). Unfortunately, this hasn’t deterred them from continuing to NOT protect us on Earth or even in space.

The FCC has approved tens of thousands of satellites despite catastrophic warnings from astronomers and other experts (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).  A paper published last week suggests they may have broken environmental law when they approved SpaceX’s Starlink Mega Constellation (approximately 42,000 spacecraft) and that they could be sued for this as well.  SpaceX has offered a solution though:-make future satellites dark.  Astronomers warn this could cause more and worse problems AND it doesn’t address all of their concerns.

From Business Insider:

Even if SpaceX manages to navigate the various engineering problems and launch completely dark satellites, these could come with their own problems.

One of the main ways astronomers look for things like exoplanets is by monitoring the light given out by stars.

[…]

The worry is that dark satellites passing in front of stars could mimic this phenomenon.

[…]

The sheer number of Starlink satellites planned (42,000) is what makes this a pressing threat: “If we were talking about one or two satellites I wouldn’t be worrying too much,” said Savini.

[…]

On top of the technical problems surrounding Starlink satellites specifically, the push of commercial companies into space could signal the start of a larger trend. Savini pointed to Amazon’s plans to launch a similar constellation of satellites.

“It becomes like every other sector, a race to quantity. Bigger, better, cheaper,” said Savini.

Read full article

Stay classy, Elon.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives.

Image credit: Pixabay

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