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Starlink A Major Contributor to Space Collisions

Starlink Satellites developed by the American aerospace manufacturer, SpaceX are considered to be of major concern when it comes to satellite collisions. These will soon be held responsible for 90% of close encounters among two spacecrafts in low Earth orbit.

With increasing space junk, operators of the satellite constellation are always keeping their satellites on the move to avoid any collisions. Satellites often encounter close contact with either other spacecrafts or any space waste pieces. SpaceX’s Starlink satellites alone are suspected to cause half of these collisions. The estimates reflect a growth in the number dangerous encounters caused by Starlink satellites in the coming future.

SpaceX’s contribution to collisions have been proved by many reports, and studies. The Starlink satellites singularly drive approximately 1,600 close encounter incidences between two spacecrafts every week. The reported incidence stress particularly on close encounters that could have potentially caused collisions. The incidences typically include situations when two crafts are within a 0.6 miles distance from each other.

So far, SpaceX has launched only 1,700 satellites of the expected constellation into the orbit. As soon as SpaceX sends all of its 12,000 satellites of first-generation constellation, Starlink will account for 90% of all close encounters.According to Siemak Heser, CEO of Kayhan Space confirmed the estimated cause of close approaches in future. He says that an operator that manages some 50 satellites receives almost 300 conjunction alerts on a weekly basis. These alerts include both space debris as well as other spacecrafts.

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